The Back 5 Project and JCWC Host David Douglas High School Students for Winter Outdoor Activities

On February 13th, JCWC teamed up with Leach Botanical Garden to host a restoration and educational field trip with 21 students from David Douglas High School. Over a few hours, the students surveyed and explored the Back 5 Project area, which is currently being cleared of invasive species, planted with native shrubs and dotted with a mulched trail system. The Back 5 Project is intended to be an outdoor classroom to provide educational and community science opportunities, with an emphasis on underserved youth and adults. While it is currently closed to the public, Leach envisions this space to be opened to everyone once infrastructure is established.

The students from DDHS conducted two activities. The first activity of the day was focused on tree ID and a photo point project. Students selected 4 trees, identified them and collected data and photos. This is in an effort to track each selected tree every month over the course of the next few months to observe changes and growth. Additionally, students received a mini-lesson on the use of increment borers and practiced using them in order to observe age and growth of trees in the area.

The second activity of the day was an amphibian exploration, where they gathered at the vernal pond in the Back 5 and looked for amphibian egg masses and adults. While no egg masses were found, students discovered at least 9 adult Long-toed salamanders under rocks. After students concluded both activities, the last part of the trip was used to eradicate ivy in heavily infested areas.

Stay tuned for next month’s recap of our collaboration with DDHS and Leach Botanical Garden!

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