Sunday, September 29, 2013

Restoration Ecology Field Trip

For our field trip, our class took a trip to Glacial Park to restore the natural wetlands from hundreds of years ago that had been destroyed by farming and other human interaction.  We spent the day clearing brush, allowing the oak trees to thrive. We also watered newer plants, planted acorns, and spread seeds. The day was an educational and interesting experience.
Colin White planting one of his many acorns.
Some of the guys from AP Bio showing a tree branch who's boss.

 Ryan's reflection: My experience with the field trip was very rewarding to me. Being able to use a saw and loppers to cut down branches and trees was the highlight of my day. It was a tough job, and I've got the war wounds to prove it, but I had a great time doing it. After cutting down the branches, planting and watering the trees seemed to be a letdown, but it was still a good amount of fun. Even though in the grand scheme of Glacial park, the little area our class worked on is only a small step on the road to recovery for this area, I felt really good about the work I had done to beautify and restore the land. This field trip converted my way of thinking about restoration ecology. Before, I thought that if other people cared so much, that they would just do it. Now after doing it myself, I've come to realize that we can all do our part, and that it is truly necessary to do in order to preserve our earth, because if we keep destroying our earth and not repairing it, we'll run out of resources. A benefit of restoration ecology is the work you put into it can be physically seen, and may benefit us. For example, by planting trees and plants, those plants and trees create oxygen which we can breathe in. Plus you get to be so close to nature that you get to see cool things, like a caterpillar Colin and I found planting seeds. You also get to set the branches you cut down on fire.  A downside of restoration ecology is that you have to kill and cut down living things for another to live. For example, when we did the brush clearing, we were cutting down smaller trees, thorns, and smaller plants in order to let the bigger trees prosper.  Hopefully if I ever make it back to Glacial Park, I'll see other people doing their part, like we did, as well as remember all the good memories from our field trip.

Some of the already restored land in Glacial Park.

Colin Schenkel making a new friend planting seeds.

AP Bio 2013-2014

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