Charleston students Discover Nature at Solar Day

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Charleston fifth grader Danitra Jones caught her first large mouth bass at the 26th annual Solar Day, Thursday, in Charleston. Danitra is pictured with Outdoor Skills Specialist Kirk Hendershott from the MDC's Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau.

Fifth grader Danitra Jones said she was excited to make her first catch -- a large mouth bass -- at "Solar Day" near Charleston. Danitra said she hopes to catch a lot more fish in the future. Other successful first time anglers were Dontarius Sharp and A'JoiYah Wells, both fifth graders. A'JoiYah said her favorite part of catching her fish was letting it go. "I liked feeling how smooth it was," she said.

Charleston third and fifth graders participated in the 26th annual Solar Day held Thursday at the farm of Wayne Corse. Corse's father-in-law, Robert G. Delaney, was a Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Commissioner from 1965 to 1974 and the family has a long history of promoting conservation practices. Solar Day is one way the family partners with MDC employees and other volunteers to help local students discover nature. Solar Day highlights included tree identification exercises, Wayne Corse's amphibian and reptile program, fishing in the family's pond, duck wing identification and outdoor cooking.