Dr. Feeley's Lower Elementary class has recently joined community efforts to restore the Soapstone Creek Headwaters.
This small area, next to the Wilson Aquatic Center, had unfortunately become choked with weeds and garbage in recent years until Ms. Cook, a retired English teacher from Wilson High School, started a project focused on restoring it to a more pristine and natural condition. She and a handful of students and community members have been working for about a year on the initiative.
This fall our class has joined the effort in a series of goings out. Students have helped to remove invasive plant species, relocate a variety of indigenous plants, disperse seeds, and prepare the newly planted areas for winter.
We have learned to identify many of the native plants already established in the area and examining their various parts has fit in wonderfully with our current botany studies. Children delighted in seeing the wide variety of seed dispersal strategies used by these plants. Jewel Weed was a definite favorite, with its exploding seed pods which have earned it the name "Touch-me-not" in many regions.
This service project has been a wonderful learning opportunity, which we plan to continue into the spring. Students have carefully marked the plants they separated and transplanted with flags so that when spring comes, we can see how many have survived the winter in their new home.