Just 24 hours after students were introduced to the concepts of a watershed in our classroom presentation, students from St. Matthews put their new knowledge to use. After learning about the ways in which tall native trees shade our creek and keep it cool and full of dissolved oxygen, and why we want to minimize the amount of invasive species at Council Creek, students eagerly got to work. The part of Council Creek we are restoring is just beyond Ryland Park in Cornelius.
We played a fun Riparian Metaphor game where students had to call upon concepts regarding watersheds and riparian corridors to link them to the various objects they were given. Students broke up into groups to brainstorm then came back together to report their thought processes. It was so inspiring to hear the awesome ideas everyone came up with. Very nice job, St. Matthews!
We also laid down coffee bags and put biodegradable stakes in the corners to prevent invasive species such as reed canary grass from growing next to our native trees and shrubs. When we announced a 15 minute break midway through the morning, a few students even opted to keep coffee bagging! It was great to see students having fun while restoring their creek! We even found some woolly bear caterpillars that will turn into tiger moths!
Lastly, we crossed the creek and discovered a big and beautiful Willow tree just waiting for us to help it multiply. We did this by cutting a few branches off of this mature tree and cutting them down to the perfect size to make a new tree with. It is so amazing that when put into the ground, a branch of a willow tree will propagate a whole new tree! We planted our new stakes along the creek and hopped back on the bus.
It was a productive, eventful, and very fun morning at Council Creek!