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(From left to right) Bush Elementary students Sam Stevens, Vanessa Perry and Juliana Hoover along with their BAC PAC supervisor Billie Klutts watch as Missouri Department of Conservation naturalist shows about 20 students the yellow belly of a speckled king snake on Thursday. Linda Houston, member of the Fulton Garden Club, requested a naturalist to come speak to the children about a year ago. Houston visits BAC PAC once a month to teach children environmental sciences. Houston said participating in Girl Scouts was her only opportunity to learn about environmental sciences as a child, and she wants children today to be able to respect nature to better care for the planet in the future. In addition to the snake, the children also learned about the five-lined skink and a Ouachita Map Turtle, both native to Missouri, from naturalist Becky Matney. “This program opens their eyes to the unique animals we have in Missouri,” Matney said. She added that she hopes children walk away with a familiarity of reptiles and an exposure to the outdoors.

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