Hillcrest Students Extend the Classroom to Hiking Trails and Waterfalls


Students from Mr. Rappold’s Geology class and Mr. Mooney’s Ecology Club enjoyed a field trip to Starved Rock State Park.

In partnership with science teacher Mr. Rappold and his Geology class, fellow science teacher Mr. Mooney and the Ecology club recently traveled to the Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby, Illinois.

The Ecology club, whose mission is: “To create an understanding of nature and our place in the environment, while exposing students to hands-on and outdoor experiences involving nature.” has a history of exposing Hillcrest students to trips and projects which develop their appreciation to the ecological diversity of the Midwest, including winter ski trips, local courtyard projects, and lakeshore adventures.

Mr. Mooney reflected on the Starved Rock trip, writing, “The purpose was to expose Ecology Club members and geology students to a different ecological environment while providing them the opportunity hike one of Illinois’ State Parks. We were able to see a large waterfall (for Illinois), hike at different elevations along the Illinois river, and view a variety of unique geological features during our three mile hike through the park.”

For more information regarding the Ecology Club or its future projects, please contact Mr. Mooney at [email protected].