Monday, October 29, 2007

On Saturday, October 20, WREN hosted twenty-some local educators for a day of training on using the WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands curriculum. There were may teachers from local schools as well as Oregon State Parks staff from Silver Falls State Park, UO Environmental Leadership Project staff, and several WREN educators. Despite the cold temperatures in the un-insulated yurt, and intermittent driving rain, we all had a good time and learned a lot.

WREN was excited to co-host this event with Environmental Concern Inc. out of St. Michael's, Maryland. Jamie Schofield was the instructor for the day and traveled all the way out to rainy Oregon from the east coast.

The days' activities began with a lesson about watersheds, using a watershed model made from clay that was contained in a paint tray. This activity is a great demonstration of the ability of wetlands to filter pollution and provide habitat.

We made good use of a short break in the rain by looking around the wetlands for signs of animals (the raccoon scat pile just outside the yurt was, as always, a big hit). We also dug a small soil core and learned how our soil fit onto a wetland soil chart by examining its color and texture.

We finished our activities in the yurt by playing with cattails. First we dissected them with our teams and learned some amazing facts about cattail biology! Then, with our dissected cattails we were assigned the task of making a boat. Not only did it have to float in a tub of water, but whichever boat could hold the most pennies won a prize. The winning boat held over 40 pennies before it finally sunk!

What a great way it was to pass a rainy Saturday! Exploring the wetlands, meeting new people and learning how to pass on our knowledge and experience to students!

No comments: