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Posted on August 26, 2021 at 10:03 AM by Allan Warren
In July we resumed our summer ECO Camp with kids from the Salishan neighborhood of east Tacoma. Over the course of two weeks we trekked into Swan Creek Park to look at stream bugs, visited community gardens in the neighborhood, practiced rock climbing near the Eastside Community Center, and went on more outdoor adventures. It was great to get the kids outside in the nice summer weather and explore some of the interesting features that neighborhood has to offer.
Conservation districts from across the state joined forces to host a virtual State Envirothon competition this spring. A total of 11 high schools, including 3 from Pierce County, competed in this new format to test their natural resource knowledge. When the dust settled, Garfield-Palouse emerged as the top finishers (Tacoma’s Science and Math Institute placed 3rd overall). The team of 5 high schoolers earned the right to represent our state at the North American competition held in July. Congratulations to all those who competed, especially the 2021 champions from the Palouse!
This summer marked the end of Leika’s term with PCD as our Conservation Education Specialist. If you’ve seen some of the videos and pictures we’ve featured over the past year, there’s a good chance it was thanks to Leika. She brought her photography, videography, and storytelling skills during a time when those were especially valuable. It’s safe to say we would not have created a fraction of what we did without Leika’s contributions. She left a huge impact on the environmental education program and we wish her the best in the next phase of her blossoming career.
Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:56 AM by Allan Warren
Salish Sea Heroes Project Wraps Up
There was a sense of accomplishment as we watched the salmon fry dart to the edges of Swan Creek after being dropped into their new home. They had been raised at the Foss Waterway Seaport from the time they were eggs as part of the Salish Sea Heroes project with Tacoma Public Schools. Community partners, including Pierce Conservation District, teamed up with 5th grade classes to deliver remote lessons about salmon and the Salish Sea, and how the plight of resident orcas can be tied to the health of local salmon runs. We also collected data on Swan Creek and provided it to the students to determine the best spot to release the salmon. After learning about native and invasive vegetation, macroinvertebrates, and stream health, the students cast their votes.
The final wheelbarrow full of mulch signaled the end of a hard yet productive shift for the volunteers from Glacier Middle School. We had placed heaps of burlap and mulch over the recently planted area in an effort to keep the blackberry canes at bay. The area along the White River has been transformed over these past several months thanks to the dedicated teachers and students during regular work parties. Our conservation crews have also been a key part of our early success, and we’ll look to keep momentum going over the summer as we clear more room for planting later this year.
Forest Poster Contest
Are you a student artist, or know someone who is? Check out this year’s NACD poster contest – Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities!
Posted on February 26, 2021 at 3:16 PM by Allan Warren