Friday, May 18, 2012

Students benefit from outdoor school program

Washougal middle school students will participate in Outdoor School 2012, a 2-day outdoor science education field trip at both Beacon Rock Park and Steigerwald Natural Refuge. Sponsored by Friends of the Gorge, the experience offers students hands-on science learning about trees, leaves, animal footprints, the nature trail and even a snapshot of Lewis and Clark. Students will walk the Steigerwald nature path, learn about plants, animals and how the mountains were formed, and participate in a Service Learning Project, pulling invasive plants. Students will interact with experts in the fields of biology, naturalist, arborist, botanist, and history.

David Shapiro, author of Terra Tempo spoke to Canyon Creek Middle School students May 17. The story starts in Portland, Oregon and takes readers on an adventure with three kids traveling through the ice age to see how the Columbia River Gorge was formed.

“Outdoor School is no ordinary field trip,” said teacher Lori Schilling. “It gives students an interactive and hands-on learning experience on how the Missoula Floods and Ice Age formed the Columbia River Gorge, which is Washougal’s backyard.”

Students will participate in the program May 24-25 and May 31-June 1.  The program is a partnership between Washougal School District and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge with funding from the Clausen Youth Fund, which was established in 2008 by long-time supporter and Vancouver resident Phyllis Clausen in honor of her late-husband.

The goal of the program is to expose local youth to the wonders of the ColumbiaGorge, its significance as a national treasure, and story of its preservation through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act.

To view a slide show of last year’s adventure, visit: