You may think that winter is not a great time to be outdoors in Portland, but don’t tell that to our kids! As part of our adopt-a-place program, our kindergarteners, 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th graders have all braved the rain and mud while improving their partner parks in the process.
This January, the 7th and 8th graders treked over to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge two days in a row to work with Portland Park naturalists and restoration managers. The first day, the students learned both how to plant trees and how to teach young children how to plant trees. The new trees will help improve habitat for the frogs and salamanders who breed there. On the second day, the 7th and 8th graders were joined by the kindergarteners. Three mixed-age groups rotated through planting trees, going on a nature walk and making nature art. Despite the full-on rain that accompanied them, the students persevered, had fun, and spent quality time getting to know each other. The kinders will be back in the spring to mulch and care for the trees.
Also in January, our 1st and 2nd graders revisited Cottonwood Bay where in the fall they had taken trimmings of native trees. Since then, the tree “stakes” have been soaking in buckets of water at school, waiting to be planted. Even though the bay is flooded this time of year, students were able to plant their stakes in higher ground. While there, Portland Park naturalists gave students a lesson on seeds and the children practiced and performed skits. The classes will be back in the spring to care for the plantings.
The 6th graders traveled back to Tryon Creek State Park last week to pull ivy and the 3rd graders will venture to Willamette Park later this month to plant trees and native plants near the river banks. Our 4th and 5th graders also have a service day planned for early March to mulch and care for the plants they planted in Johnson Creek Park earlier this fall. All in all, we have been a very muddy, helpful and happy school.
Coming up in the next Fieldwork Coordinator Update: The 7th and 8th graders learn about the Japanese enter in WWII Portland and the 3rd graders design an exhibit for PSU’s archaeology roadshow!