Toledo Middle School students planted 60 native berry shrubs along the Pacific Rd Trail in December. Carlo Abbruzzese, Department of Natural Resources, was able to visit some of the 7-8th Gr science classes and share what the DNR is doing in habitat restoration practices and offer advice to students on their project. Students then researched the type of plant that would grow best within their plot’s given characteristics of soil, light, and water, and choose plants from a grant-funded selection of native shrubs. A total of 60 plants including: red-flowering currants, thimble berry, salmon berry, snow berry, and Pacific nine-bark were planted on the slope of the west-side of the trail to increase the habitat’s biodiversity. Parent volunteers, Carlo Abbruzzese-DNR, and school staff helped students with the two-day effort.
The next step involves students conducting research on soil erosion mitigation, planning the mitigation project, and growing native ground-cover plants to address erosion issues. Students are designing aquaponic systems, incorporating aquarium fish and hyrdoponics, to grow ground-cover and wild-flower plants while learning about nitrogen and carbon cycles and the life cycle of fish and plants.