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Know the West

Roadkill 101

  "Don't touch that!" is what most kids hear when they investigate dead animals. But in Hayden, Colo., elementary school teachers are encouraging students - armed with maps and global positioning systems - to go in search of roadkill.

Second- and fourth-grade students at Hayden Valley Elementary School have produced a map of roadkill patterns along U.S. Highway 40 in northwestern Colorado. On the "Critter Control Project" map, which covers an entire hallway wall at the school, students pinpoint wildlife-crossing trouble spots. The results will help state officials decide where to place new signs, as well as devices that emit high-pitch sounds to scare off wildlife.

The Orton Family Foundation Community Mapping program established the Colorado pilot project, along with others in Vermont and New Hampshire, to support community involvement of teachers and students through mapping exercises.

For more information, contact the Orton Family Foundation at 802/773-6336 or www.orton.org, or visit the Community Mapping Program at www.communitymap.org.