Trees Go to School

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Students entered their classrooms on Friday morning slightly skeptical of what was on the agenda for the day.  They noticed that the perimeter of the room had been decorated with all different native trees and shrubs and the SOLV people were back…

But this time we weren’t talking about pretty, lucious plants full of leaves, berries, and flowers… we were talking about the bare bones of a plant: the twigs.  We went through the basic anatomy of plants and highlighted the difference between plants with opposite and alternate bud arrangements.  Students were intrigued by the various tricks and skills used to identify one twig from the other.

After a full presentation, students were given a quiz where they had to be the scientists themselves and identify the plants stationed around the room.  Students did a great job remembering information from the presentation and keying out the plants with their own hand-outs.  The winning students got SOLV t-shirts!

Then we headed out to Abernathy Creek to put our new Twig-ID knowledge to use.  Students put beaver cages around WIllow and Alder trees to prevent our new sapplings from being eaten.  We also placed coffee bags on the ground next to sapplings to prevent them from the invasive reed canary grass in the spring and summer.

We got to do a writing reflection where we had the opportunity to spend some time alone with nature, reflecting on its gifts to each of us.  Lastly, we even got to do some bioengineering!  We took live willow tree cuttings and made them into stakes for the elementary school children to put into the ground.  These stakes, made from branches of willow trees will hopefully grow into their own mature willow trees over time!

Thanks for your full day of hard work and learning, Oregon City Service Learning Academy!  See you next time!

Some Words of Wisdom from Students of Oregon City Service Learning Academy:

My Favorite River Memory

It is the memory of helping to restore,

a habitat that was once forgotten,

after being disturbed by humans,

who wanted to clear a river,

of what they thought was just brush.

-Miguel Castro

A Salmon’s Journey to Abernethy Creek

A harsh trip due to so many unnatural changes that have happened.  For example, new dams, littering and peoplebringing in invasive species that destroy some of my habitat and kill some ofmy food.

I think it’s great these kids are putting in their grain ofsand to restore the natural beauty and give stability to our great andwonderful wildlife.

This restoration will bring back the biodiversity this placeonce had.  It will also help stabilize thelife that once flourished here.

– Miguel Castro

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