Bears, Tigers and Yellow Jackets, Oh My!

A little bit of rain can’t stop Gladstone High School from restoring their watershed!  Students worked hard, thought creatively, and had great attitudes despite the drizzly weather.  Our students began removing Armenian blackberry from behind a very friendly neighbor’s property when their fearless teacher, Mr. Zerzan took one for the team (the Green Team, that is) and got stung by a yellow jacket.  Luckily, the yellow jackets were not very aggressive because of the cold, rainy weather and no students were stung.  Talk about a selfless teacher!!

We moved to a different portion of Rinearson Creek to remove some Armenian (aka Himalyan) blackberry.  Students were able to make a TON of progress on a giant pile of the invasive plant.  Gina(SOLV) played a Riparian Metaphor game with students and they were able to recall all the ways a healthy riparian zone enhances habitat and water quality.

A few students found some wooly bear caterpillars which are the larva stage of the Isabella tiger moth.   These caterpillars overwinter, surviving freezing weather by producing their own antifreeze, with which their cells are infused. (Layne and Kuharsky 2000).

Student finds a banded woolly bear larva

Adult Isabella tiger moth

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