In September of 2013, we welcomed our first group of students from Soundview International Baccalaureate. This year, 5th graders from that group are in 8th grade and recently visited us for their last school visit. It's been wonderful watching them grow, as they in turn watch the plants they've nurtured grow. Our relationship with this school is unique in that the students are able to come back once a month for at least a school year, this allows them to experience long lasting relationships with the space they've helped to restore. We were recently gifted with student authored essays written in reflection of their times with us. Please take a moment to read Derek's thoughts on his service learning experience:
"My first time going to Friends of North Creek was in fifth grade and I didn't know what we were doing but I was still excited about going to the forest. I remember our first job was to move and shovel mulch. More recently I’ve removed weeds such as morning glory
and sticker bushes and also activities like a forest walk, un-nature walk and some drawing and writing. The people there were always nice to us, they would give us food and drinks after and always thank us for everything even though it should have been us thanking them. After doing all of this work there I learned two lessons; Respect the forest and wear a coat.
On my first day I also pulled up weeds and I remember that me and a few friends pulled out the biggest sticker bush that day. The most recent time I have gone there is when I did the un nature walk. We walked through the forest and tried to find things that were not meant to be there, such as litter, a little stuffed animal, a pencil and a necklace. After going on the walk we picked up every piece of trash through the way back.
I actually remember being at the dinner table back at home with my family. My mother asked me “ How was your day? What did you do?” and I replied “I went to north creek forest and pulled weeds and spread mulch to help the forest” My dad was suddenly shocked when I said that. He said ” You did?! I suggested that place to soundview!” Turns out my dad drove by that place every day when he went to work. Little did he know this suggestion soon would become a tradition in soundview. We would go to Friends of North Creek at least once a month on friday.
Now I’ve been going here for four years with my friends at soundview and it was a blast I would highly recommend going here. You can volunteer at http://www.friendsnorthcreekforest.org/volunteer.html ."