Taking the Lead
For those of you following the progression of the Parks Climate Challenge 2009 participants, you will be glad to hear that the talented and empowered youth are in the process of fulfilling the third stage of this incredible new program. PCC students around the country are creating, implementing and leading service projects focused on engaging youth in their home communities on the issue of climate change in collaboration with a local National Park and Elementary School. On November 3rd, with the faithful guidance of North Cascades National Park, North Cascades Institute and Seattle Parks and Recreation, the five motivated students haling from the Seattle area facilitated an education field trip to Carkeek Park for over 80 rambunctious elementary students. Laura Humes, Sydney Jarol, Yvonne Chan, Sarah Salvador and Heather McPherson used their knowledge and leadership to inspire 4th/5th graders from from Parkwood, Whittier and Echo Lake Elementary Schools on a beautiful day in Seattle.
Students explore the wonder of compost
“my daughter will not stop talking about climate change, she has me buying compact flourescent light bulbs and now we are going to build a worm bin in our backyard!!”Â (parent of elementary student)
Sydney demonstrates how to plant a seed
The younger kids watched in awe as there new high school mentors confidently navigated them through four stations designed to introduce carbon mitigating skills and concepts, infused with wonder and appreciation of their local wild areas. The busy day consisted of tree planting and ecosystem exploration deep in the western hemlock forest lead by Carkeek Park staff, a biodiversity nature walk through the vibrant big leaf maples, an introduction to Salmon life-cycles along Piperâ€™s Creek, and a hands-on exploration of composting and edible plants with Mike Brondi and Kerri Cook from North Cascades National Park. Each student walked away with dirty hands, big smiles and their very own vegetable, planted in a biodegradable cup with compost nurtured in the National Park.
Mike Brondi From North Cascades National Park
Elementary students helping forest health
Sydney leads students through Carkeek Park
This amazing field trip is the forth time the elementary students have had the Parks Climate Challenge leaders teach them about climate change.Â Prior to the day at Carkeek park, Heather, Yvonne, Laura, Sarah and Sydney, visited each elementary school classroom introducing the science of climate change as well as easy steps to reduce carbon footprints. Â Having these educated and confident role models talking about such an important and relevant topic has made a big impact on these young students.Â One of the parent chaparones told me “my daughter will not stop talking about climate change, she has me buying compact flourescent light bulbs and now we are going to build a worm bin in our backyard!!”Â We can’t wait to hear from the other groups around the country leading similar projects impacting even more communities.
Heather, Sarah, Sydney, Aneka, Yvonne and Laura (team PCC)Thank you to Benj Drummond for all the photos