Tales From The Trails:

Discovery Field Trips: “Thank You Forest Park Conservancy, I Will Never Forget It”

Two-hundred sixty elementary school students visited Forest Park this fall through the Conservancy’s Discovery Field Trip environmental education program. Funding from SELCO Community Credit Union helps us keep these field trips free, so everyone can come, especially kids who have never before had the chance.

It was most students’ first time in Forest Park.

I didn’t know that there are so many different plants. The forest is so green and healthy. And it was beautiful. Thank you for everything!!!! -Emma

For the third graders at Sitton School, in St. Johns, it was also their first field trip of the year.

I am so grateful for the trip to Forest Park. I learned about ivy, trees, and what the trees need to grow, like water, soil and sun. That was our first trip for the class. I will never forget it. -Alejandro

To expose students to the diversity of plant and animal life within the park, Discovery Field Trips are split between a guided hike and a set of games and explorations about native trees and invasive English ivy. The verdict is out on which half is more fun, though the hike made quite an impression on Sitton’s third graders:

I had a lot of fun, especially on the hike. It was tiring but fun. I learned a lot, especially about trees. One thing is that we can keep trees from dying by taking out English ivy. -Damien

It was fun hiking. I got tired but it still was fun. I like hiking because we got to go to the top of the hill. I got to see the whole park. -Alejandro

My favorite part was when we went hiking. Then my most favorite part was going down. -Hugo

It was scary, because I almost fell down when we came back down the hike. I learned so much from you. -Diego

Students get up close to explore the diversity of Forest Park’s native plants, feeling the bark of different trees; finding needles and cones on the ground; and closely inspecting fallen leaves to match them to the plant they came from.

It was interesting to see the trees that you showed us and how they feel. I thought it was wonderful. -Alexia

I learned that Doug-firs have really deep dents in the trunk. -Hunter

I like learning about how if you can spell vine maple on a leaf then you got a vine maple leaf. It was interesting to see that I could find so many leaves. I had a bouquet of leaves. -Julia

Learning is fun, right?

Thank you Forest Park Conservancy because we learned a lot from you. I learned about different things like native plants and about how trees grow. It was awesome! -Hugo

Thank you for the field trip. That day was the best day ever. I want to go again to Forest Park. -David

I’m so glad you care about my education. I hope I can come back soon. I’m so thankful that you paid for the buses and us to come to Forest Park. -Abbe

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the students who approached their field trips with curiosity and excitement and to their teachers, who value outdoor education and were able to fit this half-day adventure into their busy classroom schedules. I’d like to end with a note from a teacher:

What a wonderful field experience we shared with you as we hiked through Forest Park. It's amazing how a simple hike could help to solidify our science content and open the minds of our students to new and exciting ways of learning about science through hands-on experiences. I absolutely loved it!

-Patrisha Porter, 4th grade teacher, Boise-Eliot/Humbolt School

We’re looking forward to more Discovery Field Trips this coming spring!

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