Friday, September 25, 2009

National Public Lands Day

Tomorrow is National Public Lands Day, and in honor of the day, a group of 6th graders from Dallesport took a field trip to Bonneville Dam yesterday to plant 130 trees on Hamilton Island. Yes, our job was to assist, mainly getting things set up for lunch and cleaning up. They started out at Tanner Creek to look at the salmon heading upstream to spawn, and we went along to take pictures. The kids were really excited seeing the fish trying to swim against the current.P9240043 P9240044 P9240054Next they were taken to Hamilton Island, where they were given some tree planting instruction by Rangers Claudia and Tim.P9240064 We took a few more pictures, then left to run into Stevenson, WA, where we picked up several giant Subway sandwiches and went back to the Washington Visitor’s Center to set up the luncheon. P9240067 They have a really nice fish viewing area, so the kids got to sit and eat lunch and watch more fish. Tim talked to them again about the Dam, the Army Corps and what they do, and took questions. We were impressed with how well behaved they were, and they really seemed excited to be here.P9240070

P9240071 So guess what we got to do today? Yes, we went back to Hamilton Island to reposition many of the stakes and covers and put more mulch around the saplings. All 130 of them! Tim brought over the fire truck to water them again, since last year only about a quarter of the trees the kids planted survived. Maybe they will do better this time! Here is a picture of the “graveyard”. I hope if we come back here in a few years it will look more like a forest.P9250044

Our friend Debbie arrived yesterday after traveling with her brother from Minneapolis the last couple weeks. He flew back to MN Wednesday, and she was going to spend a week here. As it turned out, the Dam was looking for more volunteers for the Visitor’s Center, she applied, we put in a good word for her, and she started training today! She will stay until the end of October, also.

And a note to Debbie’s mom: I tried to take her picture with her volunteer vest on when she got home today, but she wouldn’t let me. I promise we will get one soon and post it here for you!

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