In the first two weeks of February, we partnered with Friends of Trees and Portland Parks and Recreation for two socially-distanced service learning events at Powell Butte. Staff from our organizations worked with fifth graders and ninth graders from Portland Waldorf School. To comply with Covid safety regulations, we split students into three groups of ten. Friends of Trees led two of these groups in a mentorship activity. Ninth graders taught fifth graders how to plant Fringe Cup, an Oregon native.
The third group hiked around the Butte while completing an ecology web worksheet and a nature journaling activity. Students made so many wonderful observations, commenting on Powell Butte’s high desert microclimate and identifying many native shrubs an trees. We were happy to offer students a safe, socially-distanced version of our environmental education programming. And of course, our organizations are grateful for their volunteer hands.