Friday, April 22, 2011

Salt Presentation and Fun Activities at the New Bedford Whaling Historical Park

Salt Presentation at the New Bedford Whaling National Park

NECWA staff and interns Krill, Val, Nick and Patty headed down to New Bedford to provide an afternoon of fun and adventure at the Whaling National Park. This is NECWA's second visit to the Whaling National Park and it was fun to reconnect with all the great staff including Rangers and Educational Specialists Emily and Frank.

Before the presentation on Salt, the humpback whale, the adults and children who joined us had fun checking out our educational displays, picking up some educational material and trying their hands at some arts & craft activities.

Nick was our photographer for the event and he also helped to explain many of the bones and samples that were on our display table. Many were amazed at the neat whale and shark artifacts, including humpback baleen, shark jaws and whale bones. And others were shocked to see just how small whale food really can be! We had preserved samples of the most common type of zooplankton and fish that most whales prefer to feed on, and they are very small indeed, but packed with energy and calories.

Val worked her magic once again with her famous arts & craft activity, making an origami whale. Each child or young adult gets to choose their favorite paper design and then they can decorate their final product with stickers, markers and glitter.

Patty was busy with the younger children as she helped them to make their very own model of Salt's fluke. This involves cutting out the tail and then attaching it to a popsicle stick. Many of the children then colored in Salt's tail to make it more interesting and fun.

Next was Krill's PowerPoint presentation on Salt, the most famous humpback whale in the world. And Krill also mentioned the other unique coastal marine wildlife that also come to feed off Cape Cod. Embedded in the presentation were video clips of whales, seals, basking sharks and ocean sunfish. And everyone had fun singing the famous "Salt, the Humpback Whale" song that is incorporated into the program.

After the presentation, Krill and friends inflated Crystal, NECWA's fabric, inflatable whale. Crystal is the creation of NECWA staff member Pat Mancini and is the size and likeness of a one-year old humpback whale. Crystal was the first calf born to Salt in 1980 and Krill and Patty just saw him offshore the other day. Crystal is now a full grown male close to 45 feet in length.

NECWA had a wonderful time at the New Bedford Whaling Historical Park and we hope to return soon. We encourage everyone to stop by the Whaling Historical Park the next time they are in the New Bedford area. Their staff is doing some amazing activities and projects with the youth of New Bedford.