Hands On The Land Program
BLM/San Juan Islands National Monument
Lopez Elementary School 5th grade Science Club
Another exciting year begins for our Hands On The Land (HOL) Program with Lopez Elementary School’s 5th grade Science Club. We have 8 enthusiastic members who all had to write a paragraph about why they wanted to be in the club.
Our first excursion was on 12/2/15 and the weather was fine. We had a brief discussion about the HOL program, followed by some Chadwick facts and protocols. The kids were in their chest waders, new water booties and binoculars (all purchased with HOL funds). They could hardly contain their inquisitiveness! We also were fortunate to find a fish head and otter scat containing scales that answered last year’s question on what fish inhabit Chadwick. Small mouth bass! Now we need to investigate how they got there.
Shortly after this first trip we were informed that we had been awarded a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation and the EPA for the purchase of new canoes, paddles and PFDs. The fee for our Wetlands/Soils scientist was also included in the award funds.
Our second foray, 12/9/15, was led by Asha Leila, one of the driving forces behind the creation of the SJI National Monument and organizer of the long time Chadwick Wetland/BLM monitoring program. She filled kids in on the history of the designation of the National Monument and specifically Chadwick. Asha passed out the monitoring forms and reviewed them with the kids. We then went into the wetland proper and began to use the forms. Several of the students were eager photographers and enjoyed documenting the hike. We recorded sightings of trumpeter swans, an eagle, a hawk, various waterfowl and mushrooms.
submitted by Noreen Ignelzi and photos by Lorri Swanson