Text and photos by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest AmeriCorps member Lauren McKenna and SOLVE staff Briana Goodwin
Last week at Valley Catholic High School, SOLVE celebrated another successful — and fun! — year with the Westside Green Team students at the 3rd Annual SOLVE Westside Student Summit, with videos, photos,, powerpoints, reflections, poetry and song!
To kick off the Summit, keynote speaker Rob Emanuel, from Clean Water Services, addressed the students with advice on following your interests, getting involved in things like SOLVE and experiencing opportunities related to natural resources and environmental science. What you are doing now can be important for you future career! Follow your passions!
Student Litter Art: from trash to treasure!
Kris Taylor, stand-in Green Team Program Coordinator, and Lauren McKenna, Westside Green Team leader, introduced each of the presenting student groups from six schools in Beaverton, Hillsboro and Forest Grove. They presented on various topic related to watershed health, stream restoration and things they learned during their year at a SOLVE Green Team site:
Valley Catholic High School (Beaverton): Environmental Science students presented on how much carbon is sequestered by the trees at their Johnson Creek site —
City View Charter School (Hillsboro): As their very first year part of Green Team, they presented on the restoration they have done at Council Creek and their favorite things they learned.
Aloha High School: Two AP Environmnetal Science students talked about beavers at Butternut Creek.
Forest Grove High School: PCC dual-credit class talked about restoring Gales Creek and sang an original song, “Wetland Success” to the tune of a Lady Gaga song!
Glencoe High School (Hillsboro): Students made a video-photo slideshow of the progress of their McKay Creek restoration efforts.
Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School (Beaverton): One student shared reflection of his three years at Willow Creek, another on pesticides found in Willow Creek, and a third read her original poem (see below)
“As the River Flows” by Elise Kuechle
As the river flows , the salmon swims
against the current.
As the salmon swims, an insect
skims the surface.
As the insect skims, the birds
chatter to one another.
As the birds chatter, the lichen
As the lichen grows, the spider
weaves her web.
As the deer watches, the sun
climbs the sky.
As the rain falls, the children
begin their work.
As the children work, the river
flows over the dappled rocks.
As the river flows, the world
begins to breath.
Rain pours from a rip in the sky.
Mud is the glue that holds us together.
Rachel Carson students, including the SOLVE Student of the Year Peyton (on Left) enjoying the refreshments!
We also awarded Rachel Carson eighth grader, Peyton Tierney, as our westside SOLVE Student of the Year for her positive attitude while at her Green Team site and her going above and beyond in researching pesticides in Willow Creek (which she has bees asked to continue research on!). Congrats… you have been a great part of Green Team!
Students, teachers and attendees also wrote down comments about how they help and what they love about the environment:
“Sing from your heart.
Step back and see the mountain move.”
One generation plants the trees
another gets the shade.”
“Nature plays a big role in our lives, never take it for granted.” – Mercedes
“Plants grow in the same way we grow:
with love and nurturing!” – Brian
“You know it’s been a good day when you’re covered in mud.” – Tyler
“Always remember… Boots are your friends!” – Eli
Thank you to:
all our amazing Green Team teachers and students! You have not only learned a lot, have been very dedicated and have helped restore our watershed, but have inspired many and SOLVE has had fun getting to know you!
SOLVE staff who helped make this a great celebration! Especially Kris Taylor, Meghan Ballard and our Eastside Green Team leader Nicole Poletto.
Rob Emanuel and Clean Water Services: for your support and guidance!
Sesame Donuts, Starbucks Coffee, Einstein Bros Bagels, and Boyds Coffee Company for donations of fun and smiles.