Back to School: A Day in the Field

Students planting along the MLK Shoreline
The students work to repopulate native plants along the MLK Shoreline.

Last month I attended one of our Restoration Education Programs, where our restoration team partnered with a local school to take 6th graders out to the Bay for a day of hands-on learning. After everyone had arrived and circled up a thought formed in my brain (and I know I wasn’t alone in this) – it was early and cold, didn’t everyone want to just go inside?

But, as the sun made its appearance and my coffee kicked in, the thought faded. The restoration staff had set up a scavenger hunt with facts about plants, the shoreline, and local wildlife. The kids were really excited about finding these nuggets of wisdom and they all wanted to read the facts out loud, but only a lucky few got the privilege. We wound our way down to the planting site and, after an early lunch, got to the event of the afternoon — planting! I was impressed to see the kids get straight to it without complaining and with gusto. Each student was asked to plant 10 seedlings, and most were determined to meet that goal — taking buckets of mulch and water, and prepared seedlings to the flagged spots.

I meandered about helping kids lay down the mulch and giving out compliments on their newly planted natives. I planted a few of my own baby plants in the ground and eventually the time came to clean up. Slowly everything was put back in its place and the students and restoration crew circled up to say goodbye. This particular class had been taught to do “appreciations” at the end of the school day and they were all eager to thank the crew.

At least once a week, our restoration crew takes kids out to the Bay to show them what it is we are trying to protect. And if all days go like this day did, hundreds of seedlings get planted and a number of happy students get to have a hand in restoring the Bay.

We are currently booking school programs for April and May. Learn more here.