Fernhill Wetlands- Lisa Cunningham- Evergreen Middle School

Lisa brought her 8th grade students to do research and community service at Fernhill Wetlands outside of Forest Grove on April 25th, 2012. For this fieldtrip we partnered with Clean Water Services who manage the wetland and the Cascades to Coast GK12 program from PSU.

In total the group planted 285 trees and shrubs as well as 150 herbaceous plugs.

“Like many wetland areas, particularly ones that are in the process of being restored, invasive species are a problem at Fernhill, which is why we planted native vegetation for our community service. In order to help students better understand the nature of invasive species we did a poster project based on the “Ultimate Invader” activity,” explained Lisa.

“The project of planting native vegetation will help the wetland restoration efforts as well as bring more visitors to Fernhill. Currently a visitor center is being built at the wetlands in order to host more groups and increase education and awareness for the area”.

Stone Soup Comic Lesson Activity

A new lesson activity is based around the recent invasive species segment in the Stone Soup comic by Jan Eliot. To learn more about the comic, read Amy Schneider’s post on the WISE blog at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/wise/2013/09/03/comics-and-crayfish/.

Heidi Lent, recently tried this new lesson activity with her middle school class. Before the activity, her students had already researched an invasive species and written a 5-paragraph essay about their invasive species, so they were able to apply the knowledge they had learned to a comic strip. Heidi found that even though the students weren’t familiar with the typical structure of comic strips, they took the job seriously and really tried to make their comics great. Through this activity, students were able to express what they learned about invasive species in a fun and colorful way!

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Invasive Species Tree – Lent

Heidi Lent led her students through a large project that involved sketching and molding invasive species out of clay. The clay molds were then hung around an “invasive species tree” that held numerous clay figures. Heidi gathered seashells, beetle eaten wood, pine cones, and other materials to add to the tree display.

This tree is paired with the poem that Heidi wrote:

Without Intervention:

The aliens will take over;

Destroy the natural habitats;

The natives will die;

The aliens will thrive.

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Drawing Journal – Lent – Middle School

Each of the art students in Heidi Lent’s class made drawing journals that they can easily bring along on field trips to free sketch plants. The art students built their own books through a book-binding unit and created tubes that they can be safely stored in for traveling. Students were taught how to shade, value scales, and color the way an artist does. Through this project students were able to spend time observing the details of plants that they can apply to the study of invasive species by learning how to tell the difference between native species as well as observing characteristics that are beneficial for an invasive species to succeed.

Heidi got this idea from an Artist in Residence activity at the community BioBlitz, hosted by NPS. It was a new way to do “scientific illustration” and Heidi was “fired up”.

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