On Friday, Nov 3, we were happy to welcome a group of 4 Environmental Science 9 students and their teacher to the Red Alder Trail. Free the Fern Executive Director, Grace, took them on a tour of the Douglas Fir Teaching Garden and our recently planted Food Forest. Grace taught them to recognize the different species of fern (sword fern, lady fern, deer fern, and bracken fern), edible berry plants (salmonberry, salal, huckleberry, Oregon grape, and thimbleberry), and snowberries that we should not eat!
The students were then equipped with shovels and rakes and worked on removing invasive plants in along the trail. The trail edge was covered in invasive herb Robert (a peppery smelling plant also known as ‘stinky bob’) and lamium (aka yellow archangel). The students were careful not to remove the native blackberry. In just 40 minutes of work, the students filled up at 360 L bin! The students then planted native sword fern and redwood sorrel (a lemon flavoured plant that can be eaten in small quantities).
The students enjoyed the work and we hope they were inspired to further connect with local stewardship groups to volunteer with invasive removals and native plantings.
Note: All parents gave signed consent for their children’s photos to be shared by Free the Fern.