Umpqua Watersheds Blog

Education, Education-AmeriCorps, UW Blogs

AmeriCorps Update

Published June 15th, 2023 in Education, Education-AmeriCorps, UW Blogs

by Jessica Saxton


The last few months have been pretty busy, which means there are lots being done! UW joined the Roseburg Parks and Recreation for their Arbor Day event on April 1st. Thanks to Long’s Building Supply, who donated a large plywood board to be used for the art piece on Arbor Day. Residents had the opportunity to write messages on madrone leaves, many wrote about their love for trees and nature, in celebration of Arbor Day. The art piece was stored in the Roseburg City Library for the month of April, and many more leaves were added. Umpqua Valley Audubon and Umpqua Watersheds partnered with Umpqua Valley Farmers Market and other partners to celebrate Earth Day. This was a great event, many residents engaged with UW and participated in making seed bombs. UW also attended Umpqua Community College’s Earth Day celebration, the students had the opportunity to make seed bombs and learn about UW.

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 The month of May kicked off with a science camp at Eastwood Elementary School called Eastwood Nature Days. Over the course of four days, UW taught over 400 students about the salmon life cycle and how salmon return to their home streams. The students learned about how salmon use scent to return to their original stream, they participated in an activity where they smell bags with different scents and try to find matching scents which lead them to their home stream. Afterward, we discussed the importance of clean water, salmon habitat, salmon facts, and obstructions that could prevent salmon from returning home. UW also attended Eastwood Science Camp where students participated in nature journaling. They learned how to document the sounds they hear, and draw plants, animals, and insects they see while out in nature. At JoLane Middle School the students participated in the Environmental Detective Series where they got to be detectives and solve an environmental issue. At the Boys and Girls Club the kids participated in learning how to do nature journaling by following the steps on how to draw items they find in nature. The kids enjoyed drawing leaves, branches, and flowers in their journals and determining the names of all these plants. During the last few months, I also chaperoned on a few different field trips, Elkton Community Education Center was a popular location. Alex Harding’s class (JoLane Middle School) and Robyn Bath-Rosenfeld (Fremont Middle School) went to ECEC during May to learn about butterflies and native plant species. Another field trip was to Dorena Dam with Robyn’s class, where the students went on a hike, explored the dam, and learned about restoration projects from the Parks and Recreation Department, US Army Corps of Engineers, and BLM. I also helped to chaperone a field trip to Iverson Park and North Myrtle Creek, where Douglas High School students surveyed crayfish. Upcoming in July, UW will be hosting the Twin Lakes Youth Campout on July 21-23. Participants will get to enjoy a summer weekend in the outdoors exploring nature and outdoor activities.

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There were some great interviews for Living Downstream in the last few months. At the beginning of March, I interviewed Lisa Owens-Viani from Raptors are the Solution. She discussed the impacts of rodenticides on predators, their prey, and humans. The second interview features Chriset Palenshus, a local resident who discussed the impact of white supremacy on land use and forestry management. She wears many different hats, a mom, business owner, indigenous rights advocate, birth worker, and community organizer. She spoke about the importance of land back, language back, and culture back to the indigenous communities and the impact this will have on forest management. The third interview features Theresa Barbour with the Oregon Wild Horse Organization, she spoke about the impact of BLM management practices on wild horses and burros. We discussed the impact of climate change impacts and the role the horses play in the food chain. Living Downstream also featured a special Earth Day episode where we discussed the history of Earth Day and Earth Day events. We also featured interviews with a few members of the current AmeriCorps cohort, we discussed their projects and programs since they started serving. I truly appreciate their interest in the radio show and loved hearing about their service projects.



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