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Jul 8, 2022

Mad Fun at Mill Park

Science in the Park returns for another summer. Photo credit: Hamid Shibata Bennett

Gloomy skies and the threat of rain couldn’t dampen spirits last month as kids and parents gathered for another installment of Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s Science in the Park. This annual event brings environmental education and families together in natural spaces alongside Johnson Creek. Science in the Park provides a unique (and free!) chance for kids and their parents to learn and have fun together in the outdoors.

After days of torrential rain, Johnson Creek ran high and muddy alongside Mill Park, a small park in Milwaukie hosting a playground and a bioswale filled with native plants. Kids and their parents wandered between several booths or ran across muddy grass. A pair of ducks dabbled in the flooded bioswale, helpfully allowing kids to check off an item on their ecology scavenger hunt. Other activities included a hands-on experiment modeling oil spills, native and invasive plant identification, and learning about salmon life cycles.

Kids learn about ecosystems and native plants alongside their parents at Science in the Park. Credit: Hamid Shibata Bennett

JCWC partnered with North Clackamas Recreation District and Mad Science of Portland to put on the event, which took place Saturday June 11th, with generous support from Clackamas County Water and Environmental Services. We were joined by the Clackamas Children’s Commission, who handed out free Covid-19 tests and other supplies for families. NCPRD hosted a second Science in the Park event the following day at Boardman Wetlands.

Science in the Park is a unique opportunity for families to learn together. So much learning takes place in a structured classroom setting. Science in the Park allows kids to learn at their own pace, from their parents and siblings, and from their own hands-on experience. And of course, it’s a great opportunity for kids to just get outside and have fun! If you missed last June’s Science in the Park, don’t worry–we’re already planning the next in the series. And in the meantime, you and your kids can explore a park in the Johnson Creek Watershed any day of the year.

Today is always a good day to explore your watershed! Credit: Hamid Shibata Bennett