Tales From The Trails:

Spring Field Trips: A Look Back

During the 2013-2014 school year, Forest Park Conservancy's Discovery Field Trip program engaged a total of 418 students from seven Portland-area elementary and middle schools, all of which receive Title 1 federal funding.


Photo by Alan Borrud.

Most recently this spring, 158 students from four schools (Creative Science School, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Vernon, and Woodlawn) delved into Forest Park for some hand-on learning. Measuring at about eye-level with the park's trailside tree stumps, third and fourth graders got an up-close look at the growth rings and life cycles of trees.

They quickly learned the difference between native and invasive plants by playing "the resource game", in which each child pretends to be a growing tree, gathering up resources (sunlight, water, and nutrients), and hoping he or she won't be robbed by invasive English ivy.

Photo by Alan Borrud.

One class of fifth graders from the Creative Science School had the satisfaction of uprooting invasive ivy from the park, while other fifth grade classes experienced their surroundings through native tree identification, bird language, and animal tracking activities.

Special thanks goes to Columbia Sportswear for donating to the program a lending closet full of child-sized jackets, hats, and gloves - so that every student can discover the outdoors in comfort and style.

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