Activity Log

Service Learning Program – Circle Acres Preserve

By October 23, 2014 No Comments

October 20-23, 2014:     River Watchers from Eastside Memorial High School led the second installment of the Service Learning Program. This program is made possible by Impact Austin and the $100,000 award as the 2014 Environment Grant Recipient. Hands-on projects will include enhancing and restoring streams and rivers throughout watersheds in the Austin area. River Watchers from nine Austin ISD high schools will participate in 10, week-long service learning projects during the 2014-2015 school year. Below you can learn more about the Service Learning project at Circle Acres Preserve:
Monday 10/20/2014
10 River Watchers from Eastside Memorial High School met with Joaquin Mariel, Executive Director at Ecology Action, to conduct a pre-assessment report of the project area at Circle Acres Preserve. Joaquin shared the mission of Ecology Action, including reuse and remediation of land, zero waste initiatives, and resource recovery operations. He specifically talked about the vision and plans for Circle Acres Preserve while pointing out natural features and renovations in the project area. Then the River Watchers visited the creek bed of Country Club Creek, discussing the tenets of a healthy functioning riparian zone. They ended their day at Roy Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park with dinner.
Tuesday 10/21/2014
10 River Watchers from Eastside Memorial High School reviewed the characteristics of healthy riparian zones before beginning their workday at Circle Acres Preserve. Service Learning Program Manager, Adam Comer, explained the benefits of native grass species, Canadian wildrye and Inland Sea Oats. River Watchers then collected native seeds from the Preserve. They ended their day at Roy Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park with dinner.
Wednesday 10/22/2014
Nine River Watchers from Eastside Memorial High School started their workday by reviewing activities from the previous days and then learned about another native grass species which is well adapted to re-vegetating denuded areas along streams called Eastern Gamagrass. River Watchers planted 40 Eastern Gamagrass plugs in an eroded and scoured ephemeral stream bed at the Preserve. They ended their day at Roy Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park with dinner.
Thursday 10/23/2014
10 River Watchers from Eastside Memorial High School reviewed information about riparian ecology, beneficial native grass species, and shared their favorite part about the Circle Acres Preserve project. They visited a wetland area, learning about its ecological importance. Then River Watchers were given the choice to work on one of two projects; harvesting Black Willow ‘live stakes’ from the wetland, collecting and dispersing grass seeds or watering Eastern Gamagrass plugs which were planted on the previous workday. Joaquin visited with the River Watchers and gave each participant an Ecology Action t-shirt, while they enjoyed pizza for dinner. Prizes were awarded to River Watchers for their contributions and they completed their post-assessment report for the project.
 
 
 

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