Recorder: "Four Corners fourth-graders help turtles through sign-making"

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Four Corners fourth-graders help turtles through sign-making

Published: 6/5/2019 10:59:51 PM

By MELINA BOURDEAU

Four Corners students holding turtle crossing signs

Photo by Jake Toomey

GREENFIELD — Why did the turtle cross the road? To get to the other side of the road. Country Club Road to be exact.

With the help of resident David Moscaritolo and Discovery School at Four Corners fourth-grade teacher Marguerite Rancourt’s class, who made turtle crossing signs to warn drivers, crossing the road got a little easier for the turtles.

Moscaritolo, who has lived on Country Club Road for about four or five years, explained a dam on the nearby Cherry Rum Brook has created a small pond, attracting otters, moose, turtles and other wildlife.

“When I come home, every once in a while there will be a car parked in front of the house because there’s a turtle in the road,” Moscaritolo said. “I watch out for them and move them out of the road.”

A year ago, the students from Rancourt’s class came over to his property after following the stream and Moscaritolo showed them the small pond.

“My students were interested to see where the brook goes because it looks like it disappears,” Rancourt said. “We worked with the historical society and we tried to figure out where the brook went. Then we went to follow it and we got to a pond, and I had a feeling I could knock on the door. I did and it was David.”

About two weeks ago, when the class came to visit this year, Moscaritolo said the timing was perfect.

“At first I wished the students could see a turtle because they can get pretty big,” Moscaritolo said. “Just then, a car stops in the road for a turtle. So I grabbed my electrician gloves and moved the turtle. The kids were jumping for joy.”

The students then took the initiative to create signs warning drivers about the turtles and telling them to slow down.

“David told us he tried to get the town to put signs,” fourth-grader Kaylee Fernette said. “We thought we could make some for him.”

Fellow student Olivia Bassett said when the class came back to Moscaritolo’s house, they had six signs to line either side of the street. Rancourt said that as the class came back to the property, the students were chanting “save the turtles” and “turtles crossing.”

“They have an open invitation to come to the property,” Moscaritolo said. “They’re a great bunch of kids that are full of enthusiasm about science.”

Reach Melina Bourdeau at 413-772-0261, ext. 263 or mbourdeau@recorder.com.