Blue Heron students surveyed macroinvertebrates in Snow Creek. Credit Caitlin Battersby
A few weeks ago we headed out to Snow Creek with Blue Heron students to apply math and science lessons in the field. Students tested water quality in the stream, surveyed for macroinvertebrates, and put their math skills to work in a forestry lesson, using a relascope to determine tree height. Then we served a locally-foraged midday treat: nettle pesto (recipe here) on crackers followed by nettle cupcakes with Doug fir tip frosting (recipe here)… Yum!
These experiences help foster a connection to nature, demonstrate the potential for careers in natural resource management, and are just plain fun.
Students used a relascope and solid math skills to calculate tree height. Photo by Caitlin Battersby.
After spending time in the forest upstream, we headed out to Snow Creek Estuary Preserve, where the creek meets Discovery Bay, to check on the trees students planted the previous year. Fifty trees were selected and tagged to be monitored over time. Students will keep checking on this tree sample to assess survival rates over time. This helps us plan for the future health of our preserves—and gets the next generation involved in caring for them.
The success of our Blue Heron School program is leading to new opportunities with education partnerships. This is crucial to our mission, because protecting land forever takes investment now. We know making good on our mission will take people with both the passion and skills to do this work for generations to come.