Friday, December 14, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
"And deep in the Grickle-grass, some people say,
if you look deep enough you can still see, today,
where the Lorax once stood
just as long as it could
before somebody lifted the Lorax away.
"And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks with the one word
Whatever that means, well, I just couldn't guess"
"'But now,' says the Once-ler,
'Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
- by Dr. Suess
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Dirty hands were on the schedule for the EcoThink students this month. First they took samples from the parking lot trees, the front garden, and the rain garden, mixed them with water, and then allowed them to settle into sand, silt, clay, and organics. We then explored the textures of different soils with our guest Claudia Christensen Garcia from Portland Public Schools and Erica Stokes from West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. For some of the students, it was their first time making 'mud pies'! They were able to make observations about the soil balls that they made as they smelled and squished it through their fingers. We all realized how we need to amend the soil in several of our gardens to make it a better environment for the plants that we will add next month.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The students worked in teams and learned how to map our rain garden with tape measures and a compass. With their work, we created a wonderful map both of the garden but also the surrounding area that will soon become our Outdoor Classroom!
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
EcoThink Late Start Lounge will be meeting on Wednesday, September 19th from 9:30–10:30. These sessions are designed for students K–5 who are interested in environmental topics. The theme of our first session will be field studies and map making. To register, please complete the permission form and drop it off in the office’s EcoThink box near the volunteer computer by Friday, September 14 (drop-in sign up is not allowed). If you have any questions or would like to volunteer please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP here.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Here are some of our favorite hikes to try over the summer. If you have any others you would like to recommend, let me know!
4T trail in Portland - Trail/Tram/Trolley/Train. Start at the Zoo and follow the 4T trail through the SW Hills to Council Crest and on to OHSU. Enjoy the tram down to the river followed by the trolley to downtown and train back to the zoo.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
This week we met down at Stephen's Creek Natural Area to learn about invasive plants. West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District loaned us some plastic examples of Purple Loosestrift and Garlic Mustard to help the students become 'Weed Watchers' and they took on the task of learning what to look for and how to report their findings. Down at the creek the students conducted their own survey with a PVC survey square and water-proof boards. Their favorite part was designing the symbols to represent the plants in their square. Each team also had a chance to test the pH of the stream water. They discovered that running creek water had a lower pH than stagnant water - true scientists in training!
Pictures from the May EcoThink class
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
On Tuesday April 24, the Rieke community collected 40 BIG bags of plastics at the second annual Rieke Plastic Drive. That's 40 bags less to the landfill, 40 bags less to be a choking hazard for animals. Special thanks to the Tryon Creek Rangers for transporting the plastics to Farwest Fibers and to all of the student and parent volunteers who help sort before and after school. Go Rieke!
Monday, April 23, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Try going to ‘Recycle City’, a website from the EPA
This site has several recycling games and activities for rainy weekends or summer projects:
Cut down on your junk mail at
Have your child find the catalogs that you don’t want and located the customer numbers on the labels to help you opt-out of mailings.
Take the ‘Trash and Climate Change’ challenge
Thursday, March 15, 2012
But for trees, it's just delightful
Boots and jackets ready to go
Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!
Join us tomorrow for the Rieke/Wilson Arboretum planting. We have 15 trees and 400 students who would love your support.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Today we talked about tracking. The students were able to test their observations skills in the classroom with two game that you can play at home. First, they had a minute to look around the room and then closed their eyes. I asked them questions about the room and they answered by raising their arms to vote on list of answers. We also played an observation/memorization game with plastic farm animals. You can play this at dinner by having one person close their eyes while everyone else remove one object from the table. The object is to list what is missing.
Outside we practiced different tracking techniques. Ask your child to demonstrate the fox walk, weasel walk, scatter vision (good for looking for motion), and the benefits of using both peripheral vision and looking side to side (the playground/fabric game). We also worked on telling stories through tracks. The students had a great time drawing animals tracks on the playground with chalk. Here is a pdf of the animals tracks that we used if you would like to try this at home: