On May 6, White Mountain Middle School Principal Ginny Walker welcomed five groups of visitors. All but one team of students participating in the 2009 Science Symposium were 7th graders. Jacksonville’s contingent, sporting white lab-coats, brought honor to their fifth grade coach and teacher, Dick Barbara.
Walker turned the program over to Jim Hutchins who heads the Oregon
Stewardship Program. He led an outdoor tour he referred to as a field
trip through the bio-swale on the school grounds and their periphery.
In preparation for that outing, signs labeling crops at the Native
Plant Garden wore cardboard coverings. Spectators received sheets
bearing photos of various crops that grow there. The challenge-to
identify the vegetation without benefit of the labels usually
accompanying each display.
Hutchins’ wife, Carla, took an
active part in the projects. She credited the Carpenter Foundation
with having provided some of the funding that made this symposium
possible. Jim Hutchins noted that five years ago, Medford had but
one "green building" in it. He contrasted that with the newest
structure that houses SOU and RCC. "That’s completely ‘green,’" he
said, "with solar panels, and reusing water."
He asked the
audience why clean water is so important. Then he related that a
decade ago, the Los Angeles River dried up seasonally. "Now steelhead
swim, and drift boats float in it."
Three Butte Falls
students, Kaylee Biando, Tyler Munsell, and Brandi O’Keefe sparked
pride in teacher Hugh Simpson with a presentation about their
greenhouse work. According to Simpson, they started that in October.
been growing daffodils from seed," the pupils related though their
power point exhibition. "Then we sold the flowers to different
merchants in town."
Simpson later explained that the $277
they raised thereby, will likely help finance additions such as
electrical power to the greenhouse. .
program dealt with field trips to TouVelle Denman Park. There they’d
spread bark on trails and clipped blackberry bushes by the creek banks
to provide unobstructed views of the water. They also planted trees to
shade fish hatching places. Finally, they erected bird houses, and
conducted a scavenger hunt to locate igneous rock.
Jacksonville kids presented ecological statistics they’d gathered
concerning Bear Creek’s water measured at four different outdoor
Ruch students said they’d built an eight-tenths of
a mile long trail next to their cross country track. "We covered it
with bark to make it easier to walk on. We also stabilized the bank
of riparian zones along the river, and planted native flora."
host school fielded a team of thirteen who worked on several projects
from sowing native plants to visiting Wildlife Images. The thirteen
included Kristen Speilbusch, Marriah Hunsley, Emily Jeffries, Mae
Figueroa, Felicia Gomez, Chrystylmine Cerdan, Alex Myers, Tiffany
Pharris, Nick Branch, Jesus Ortega, Loretta Watley, Daniella Carillo,
and Anthony De Vito.
After Butte Falls student Evan
Givens won the door prize book, "A Field Guide to Trees in North
America," festivities concluded with a pizza lunch.
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent