Friday, June 29, 2012

Weed Watchers Update

During our last class the students learned about local invasive weeds.  Their favorite weed was the Giant Hogweed because the sap contains compounds that can cause severe burns when the effected skin is exposed to the sun.  They didn't find any at Stephen's Creek but this plant was found at a local school recently:  

Make sure to keep observing and exploring!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Adventures

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.

Portland Audubon Trails - Take some time to meet the birds in the rehabilitation center before exploring the trails and birds in the wild.

Tryon Creek State Park - our old favorite - lots of trails, bridges (don't forget to try the 'bouncy bridge' - Terry Riley Bridge!), banana slugs, owls, and lots of nature programs.  They have Stewardship Saturdays every second Saturday of the month at 9am to help with pulling the ivy in the park.

Elk Rock Island - this 'island' is accessible during the dry summer months via a land bridge (great for a geology/anthropology lesson!)

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area - great area for bird watching.  After hiking along the wetland trails, take your bike along the bike trail/side walk west to Kelly Point Park to play on the beach and watch the boats along the joining of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

Springwater Corridor bike trail - flat paved bike trail with the bonus of stopping to hiking on Powell Butte

Sandy River - dog-friendly hiking area that lead out to the Columbia River.  See evidence of beaver work and play on the sandy beach.

Saddle Mountain - our boys' first 'mountain' hike (when they were 4 and 6) and their favorite trail.  It's a 2.5 mile hike up to the top where you have a great view out to the sea and of our surrounding mountains.  A few of the areas have steep inclines so I taught the boys 'mountain side' and 'down side'.  Whenever we entered an area with a drop I would call 'mountain side' and they learned to only walk on the high side of the trail. 

Wakeena Falls to Multnomah Falls Loop - a bit more ambitious, this 5 mile loop will take you up past Wakeena Falls to Fairy Falls (with an optional 100 yard side trip to see the Wakeena Spring!), over the Gorge ridge to the top of Multnomah Falls and back down to the road.

Wahclella Falls and Bonneville Dam - stop at the Dam to learn about the wildlife (and use the bathrooms!) before heading out on the trail on the other side of the highway.  It's one mile in and out, perfect for a picnic near the falls.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We are applying for the Green Flag Award 
through the National Wildlife Foundation's
Eco-School USA program. Here is a message from the Rieke Student Council Leadership Team:

We are the Student Council that wants to earn a Green Flag. What is a Green Flag you say? A Green Flag is a symbol that we are an eco-friendly school. We could be the first in Oregon!! So help us become a greener school by saving energy, recycling, and using the back of the paper when you draw. In order to life your spirits, we came up with a contest. Who can write the best Rieke Eco-Green Song? The winner gets a green Rieke t-shirt. SO WORK ON IT! Don’t forget the 5 Rs: Rieke, Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, and Replant (please include these in your song). The contest will take place over the summer. Bring in your lyrics in the first week of school next fall!

by Annika S., Madeline M., Sarah W., Eli M., Emily E., Thomas R., Luke H., Ike L., Luke G., Justine W., Rij D.