Expeditionary Place-Based Learning - South Whidbey State Park Experiences

Part of SWA kids on the beach at SWSP October 2, 2013

SWA Expeditionary Place-Based Learning

South Whidbey State Park Experiences
October - January

Schedule for Tuesdays at SWSP
October 1
October 15
October 29
November 12
November 26
December 10


December 10th
Last Visit (maybe)

Group circle for the last time in 2013 - cool and damp

Tuesday morning we got on the bus and rode the bus to freeland like we always do 
and then caught another transit to the park then we talked a little to Burt 
then went to the field then the Calyx kids 
and cave man came out and we got in circle and talked 
and we decided that we are playing this game where there is 2 birds 
and so we chises 2 people to be the birds and it was Snelling was one of the birds 
and Snelling was chasing Gavie 
and he fell face first 
and just layer there like a helpless human 
it was so funny then we played fire in the forest that was pretty fun
 then we played this game where everybody was blind folded 
and the lady went around without anybody noing 
and picked a pruey 
and we had to go around shaking peoples hands saying pruey 
and if they didn't say anything we had to hook arms 
and take our blind folds off it was pretty fun
 but it felt like we where in a cold white room. 
Then we said bye and ate lunch then went to look for the other group in the trailes
 didn't find anybody
 then we walked back
 and talked to Burt again then we caught the transit to the goose 
then got on a different transit
 and then went back to the school.
- Fayth

Trails on which we work

 Today we went to the South Whidbey State Park. It was so, so much fun! I was in the forest/trail group. Our job was laying and hammering down wired mesh so that it built up traction to make some boardwalks not slippery from the rain.
It was soooo, soooooo, sooooooooo cold! My hands were so cold that when they finally thawed, they were too stiff to move. I also only had one glove, so at one point I had both of my hands in the one glove, but that didn't do me any good, so I decide to let my hands take terns in the glove, but that also sucked, so I just gave up altogether. 
                  It was fun to work on the boardwalks, I really like hammering the mash down for the boards, it was fun. It makes you feel powerful, to wield a giant, nail pounding hammer. If makes you feel strong. The mesh, on the other hand, does not. It can cut you if you do not hold it the proper way, and if you don't you weight on it when you are nailing, it will spring back at your face, and that is dangerous. But it was a lot of fun, and I love the fact that I am making a contribution to the community and making the winter traction safer for hikers on the State Park trails.
                   I was not in the Calex group, but I do know what they did. Later in the week, the State Park had a holy cleaning day were the cut out all out the invasive holy, and after that, they had to do the clean-up, so that is what some of the Calex members did. I tried to take a suvinear scrap of holy, but on the way back go school, I left it somewhere between Freeland and wherever the bus goes.


November 12th Expedition
Land Art and Trail Fixing

Gavie puts finishing touches on mandala
Shaylynn, Fayth, Luna and Calyx kids proud of their creation

Shona, Shaylynn, Fayth and Livia with Calyx supervisors
State park: mandalas
Today I joined the calyx group because I broke my arm last week. I am soooo accident prone. Oh well.We made mandalas out of natural materials, like Andy Goldsworthy. It was fun. Before we made the mandalas we played fire in the forest with the kids. I was a ladybug. Today was a fun day.

Nolan perservers with mesh

Chris Burt gets serious before hitting the trail
Ranger Kevin helps with mesh work

October 29th Expedition

Calyx Group
Students made memory books for Calyx students interviewed the previous fortnight - October 15th

Calyx Group Themselves

Working on books in the Calyx school building, formerly the park ranger's house

Shaylynn and Fayth Display their Work

Trails People Add Non-Slip Mesh to Boardwalk

Vinnie cuts, Patty-Caldwell Assists

Holley Hammers

Vinn rocks the wilderness
Gavie of the Calyx Group Displays a Well Wrought Page; Shows Pride in her Work

October 15 Expedition

SWSP Trails
Calyx Community Arts School

Adah interview Calyx student Liam

Fall - Adah

Trail workers heading to job site on the Wilbert Trail

Hi, Shona here. Today we went to the state park. I was working on the trails. We were covering the boardwalk with mesh, so people wouldn’t slip. I was hammering nails into the mesh so it would stay in place. And I only smashed my fingers a couple of times and there was no lasting damage! On the trails we saw many different plants and trees like ferns and pine trees.
5 girls - Autumn leaves

Stephanie and Grace

Aden Rowen and Tim

Caveman and kids

Holley and Alia

a day in the life

Going for apples
Group 1 leader Adah
Katie portrait
Nevada portrait
Amelia and Sarah

Aden portrait

Fayth and Kiah
Calyx, facilitators and students
Some other girl and Kiah
Alia and Gavie
Kiah demonstrates how to write your name in sticks for Fayth and Shaylynn
Two girls

The Intention: Partner with Susie Richards and Chris Burt of S.E.A. (Service, Education, Adventure web site http://serviceedadventure.org/) and the South Whidbey State Parks and the k-2 outdoor school Calyx to offer SWA students an opportunity to serve their community and mentor younger students every other Tuesday for the next ten Tuesdays. On alternate Tuesdays SWA students will be continuing their expeditions to experience the diversity of the South Whidbey Island community as we did on 15 Tuesday expeditions last year.

Watch this space for news and photos from this part of the program.

This space on the Expeditionary blog will be devoted to documenting the SWSP portion of our expeditionary program. We will list each Tuesday's activities and give pictures and words to communicate the details of the day's events. 

See below for some details regarding this new program:

Expeditionary Parents,
We will be boarding Island Transit on Tuesday the first of October to connect with South Whidbey State Park, and Chris Burt and Susie Richards of S.E.A. to start an on-going project in partnership with the park and the Calyx School. This project will include:
* working with Park Rangers (and Chris Burt of SEA) on Trail Restoration / maintenance projects at the Park. This project provides students the opportunity to serve as "stewards" of the Park, learn about how the parks truly "belong" to them, learn to use trail tools, etc....

* Engage in nearshore projects on the saltwater beach - including our microplastics project, work with Beach Watchers on local monitoring, beach exploration, etc....

* Engage in nature based art projects (we have some great local artists on board as part of our instructional team!)

* work on ethnobotony projects - studying how native americans have traditionally used native plants
* Learning about the history of South Whidbey State Park with local historians while walking the trails

* Helping to bring back the "junior Ranger" programs, restoring the old "Hobbit Trail", working with the Calyx Students - and more.
Service, Education, Adventure info.:
SEA has entered into a new partnership, the "Nature Education Network" - a collaboration with Washington State Parks and the Calyx School (a nature based school for 5-8 year olds). We have "taken over" the old Ranger House at South Whidbey State Park - which is now home to SEA offices, home of the Calyx School, and home to the Friends of South Whidbey State Park.
SEA is now offering programs in which public schools groups can come to the Park and choose from a "menu of options" for their class to engage in.

Photos from our first foray to SWSP: (always click on pics to make them bigger)

Vinnie shows concern

Violtette picks a special spot

Aden in her solo writing location

V finds another special spot

Stephanie strikes a pose

On the trail to the beach

Public Transit

Jovani looks happy

More inside the bus

On down the trail

One more version of the walk to the beach

Detail of SWSP Day One:
Expected rain; got what seemed to me one of the nicest days of the year.
SWA group arrived at about 10:45 on #1 bus. Made a circle at the SWSP work parking lot with ranger Kevin, Susie and Chris to explain the day. Group broken into two and 13 kids went across street and into the trails to be cleaned and maintained.  The other group gathered in the Calyx school to meet the teacher, Lisa Kois, and talk about themselves and the Calyx school program. The Calyx students, who spend 80% of their day outside, were outside so the SWA students and I took the trail to the beach for an hour of solo writing time and lunch in utterly beautiful weather. We returned for a debriefing by Chris and I and boarded a later bus than we planned but were still able to pretty much arrive at the SWA campus on time. It was tight and one student suggested it would be faster if we stayed on the #1 and got off at Maxwelton and 525 and walked back to the school from there, which we did.
In future it would be far better for all our Tuesday expeditions if we could have kids get back to SWA in time for the 3:30 elementary bus run which goes the same route as the 2:30 run. However since not all kids at SWA ride the school buses home this is not necessarily good for the others; we will have to check this schedule with all Expeditionary parents to see if it is an option.

See below Susie Richards comments on the first day at SWSP:

"I wanted to extend a big "thank you" to all of you who helped to make our first day at SW State Park with SW Academy students a big success!

Big thanks to Rangers Jon Crimmins and Kevin Lease who worked with SEA Co-Director Chris Burt on developing a stewardship / trail project for students, and to Kevin and Chris for being out on the trail with students today. I hear a lot of work was accomplished! Thank you Chris for bringing your many years of experience as an educator and "trail boss" into play today!

Thank you to Lisa Kois for introducing the students to the Calyx program and helping to brainstorm ways that some wonderful "peer education" projects could be undertaken between Calyx and SW Academy students. I was so impressed with the SW Academy students' interest and engagement in the conversation today!

Thanks to teacher Charlie Snelling for his continuing interest in "getting kids out there" to learn about and engage in their local community. The conversations today about citizenship, community and stewardship were powerful and meaningful - and just the beginning!"


No comments:

Post a Comment