Spring Mountain Elementary @ Mt. Scott Creek April 22nd
Happy Earth Day! Spring Mountain students came out to celebrate Earth Day by looking at macroinvertebrates. Macroinvertebrates are stream insects that are big enough to see with the naked eye and have no backbone. They are in their immature phase in the water and eventually becoming flies. When they are mature as flies they are crucial to the forest as the bottom of the food chain. Spring Mountain found a ton of different macros including small minnow mayflies, blood-worms, scuds, annelids and snails. Despite a small hail storm during our outing students were enthusiastic and did a great job identifying the macros. Thanks Spring Mountain- we’ll see you next time!
Clackamas Middle College @ Phillips Creek April 23rd
Clackamas Middle College students celebrated Earth Day this year by making a difference in their community. Students spent the day cleaning up litter around their school neighborhood and making it into trash art. First students learned about litter in the environment. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large collection of trash in the Pacific that has gathered due to currents. About 80% of that trash originated on land; traveling from streets to rivers and eventually to the ocean. Most of the trash is plastic which breaks down through photo-degradation, becoming smaller and smaller pieces. These small pieces are a danger to wildlife that can choke on them. Students at Clackamas Middle College collected 20 lbs of trash around CMC and created two beautiful pieces of art. Great job CMC students! Thanks for the creativity!
Gladstone High School @ Rinearson Creek April 24th
Gladstone High School made a trip to Rinearson Creek this week to sample macroinvertebrates. First students learned about these tiny stream insects which are vital to the forest ecosystem. The students learned about the different types of macroinvertebrates which include four orders; mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies and true flies. Macros have different sensitivity to pollution and depending on which type you find can give a good indication of the health of the stream. Stoneflies are the most sensitive to pollution so are a great indication of a healthy stream. But in Rinearson Creek students only found mayflies and worms. Rinearson Creek is an urban stream so the small amount of macros found is an indication it is polluted but it was also quite a rainy day so a bit hard to sample. Great job Gladstone!
Tuesday, April 22nd
Valley Catholic Middle School at Johnson Creek
HAPPY EARTH DAY! This Earth Day, Valley Catholic Middle School mulched over 300 native trees and shrubs at Johnson Creek. We started off the day with a small presentation that explained the history of Earth Day and briefly talked about the thousands of people around the world who were also making a difference. Then, each student hauled a bucket mulch to the older SOLVE area where years ago Valley Catholic students planted what is now a small forest. After mulching, each class removed invasive blackberry and Reed Canary grass around the native plants. Overall, it was a splendid day celebrating the Earth!
Thursday, April 24th
Evergreen Middle School at McKay Creek
Evergreen Middle School visited McKay Creek this Thursday for a special visit. The two classes split into three different groups and rotated through an invasive removal station, a native plant Identification and ethnobotany station, and a macro invertebrate station. Besides a flash of stormy weather in the middle of the visit each station went rather smoothly and everyone had a grand time learning about how to better care for McKay Creek. Thank you so much for coming out Evergreen Middle School!
Friday, April 25th
Tobias Elementary at a Beaverton Creek Tributary
Becca and I sadly said goodbye to the exemplary students and Tobias Elementary school this Friday. To wrap up our time together we reviewed the watershed health basics in class and reiterated the importance of all our hard work this year. Then we hiked out to the forest behind the school so the students could see the fruits of their time on Green Team- a world in bloom! When we got back to the class room we reflected on our time together and everyone was given a delicious Sesame donut!
Goodbye Tobias and thank you for all the wonderful times!