Charlotte explains her student’s project: “In April my students heard a speaker discuss Lake Ecosystem and importance of native plants in the riparian zone. In her presentation we learned about invasive lake plants and were educated on Yellow Flag Iris (YFI).
“In April my science club students (grades 7/8) attended a parks and recreation meeting to educate members on YFI and obtain permission to work on the removal of YFI. The following week they presented their solution plan to the city council and got the ok from city council.Then we walked to the lake and counted and observed the colonies of YFI. We realized there were too many YFI colonies to count from the shore and decided to pull one large colony from the shore and then we stomped a large patch to the ground.”
“In June we returned and did a canoe trip around the parameter of the lake and GPS marked all the
colonies. Along with the markings we also labeled the approximate size. After GPS marking the colonies
we went back to check on our previous work. The stomped colony had no seed pods but the colonies nearby had LOTS of seed pods. We therefore concluded that the stress of stomping at least kept them from producing out seeds and spreading the YFI to new areas. Also, on that day we removed all the pods from another colony and dug up 2 other colonies.”
Through the continued monitoring of the yellow flag iris, students can observe the progress of their project and learn more about the watershed ecology and behaviors of this invasive species. Charlotte reports that this project has allowed her students to connect to community members, receive positive feedback from adults and participate in community based after school activities.
The students have enjoyed the “real-life” application of the watershed science concepts. Charlotte even caught one student exclaiming, “This is so much better than playing video games”. This class has already made an impact on the parks and recreation and city council and they plan to focus on community education on watershed invasive species day with a presentation. They are also planning a riparian day activity to take to the elementary schools and pass on the knowledge and grow the science club.