Lazy Five, Dan Nicholas among top sites for field trips

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 16, 2014

By Deirdre Parker Smith

Lazy 5 Ranch is the top field trip destination for the fourth consecutive year, according to Carolina Field Trips magazine.

Dan Nicholas Park was No. 2, Tiger World in Rockwell came in at No. 20, and Patterson Farm Market and Tours came in at 25.

According to the publication, Lazy 5 had 130,861 school children visit during the 2013-2014 school year; Dan Nicholas had 122,023 students.

The survey was conducted by Carolina Publishing Associates of Matthews, which publishes the magazine.

Publisher Sam Rogers predicts field trip attendance will increase.

Andrea Baucom, special events coordinator of Dan Nicholas Park, explained that the numbers count for any visit that is part of an educational program, so the park” gem mine is part of that, coming for a weekend bear feeding counts.

“Most school groups are here for an educational trip,” Baucom said.  “We keep track of every field trip that comes here. … We have Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts.”

Baucom says Dan Nicholas has been on the list for years, and expects numbers to increase as schools return to taking field trips.

Tiger World is expecting additional visitors now that it has opened its own veterinary center. It includes an 8-foot viewing window so visitors can see and learn about veterinary procedures with exotic animals.

Lea Juanakais, president and founder of Tiger World, says it has been a longtime vision.

The vet center is necessary to care for the residents of Tiger World. It was made possible with support from a High Five Grant from the N.C. Veterinary Medical Association.

Katy Rich, operations director, is coordinating with local science classes and school groups to view various procedures.