Each year, Bravo Team chooses an environmental topic that we are concerned about. We study it and then we choose a service project that we can do to have a positive impact on that problem.
We had several topics that came up this year, but ultimately we chose to work on Deforestation. We know that trees are very important to our local ecosystem, our native salmon, and in fighting climate change.
After contacting North Olympic Salmon Coalition we learned that they really needed some help in their native plant nursery. This is the place where native trees are potted up and grown for a year or two before they are planted out in restoration areas. Growing in the pots allows the trees to get bigger and have a better chance of survival when they are planted in restoration areas.
The NOSC nursery is located at Finnriver Orchard, in Chimacum, WA. The trees were originally set up on pallets to provide air flow around the plants and prevent the roots from growing out of the pots and into the ground. The pallets rot every few months and need to be replaced. Hannah, the Outreach Coordinator for NOSC wanted help removing the pallets and placing down weed cloth. Bravo Team to the rescue!
After two hours of fun and hard work, we had moved over 200 potted trees out of the nursery, taken out all the pallets, covered the gravel with weed cloth, and replaced all the trees (keeping them organized by species). When the weed cloth was down, we made sand bags to hold it in place. We also found quite a few critters in the process-slugs, snails, a frog, rolly-polly bugs, and even a pair of mice!
Then we had time for a snack and to enjoy the farm. We drank a water toast to the trees and then headed off to greet the sheep and geese that keep the grass mowed down. We also visited Chimacum Creek and learned from Hannah that Coho and Summer Chum salmon travel up this creek to spawn.
Back in class we reflected on our favorite parts of the day and the things we learned. We loved: working together, moving heavy things, naming our trees, seeing all of the colors and patterns of the native trees, visiting Finnriver, seeing all of the animals, and helping trees that will be giants one day. We learned about: the headwaters of Chimacum Creek, the kinds of salmon spawning there, that geese can eat grass, and that there is a lot of wildlife out there. We are proud of the work we did to help the trees!