Tuesday, May 6, 2014

First Grade Field Trip

Today we had thirty first graders from the Covenant School.  We boarded the Keelboat, toured the new building and its murals, and planted seeds for butterfly habitat. Then we walked to the Classroom Quarry, learning about the geology of the area.  Here are some photos of our morning:

We learned about the monarch butterfly and how it needs milkweed for its eggs.  Then we planted milkweed in the field.

Patrick plants some milkweed for the butterflies.  

Here are some descendants of the Lewis and Clark families:  with the red hair on the far left, Clark's descendant (Clark also had red hair).  The girl on the far right is also related to William Clark.  The boy in the middle is related to the Lewis family. 

Distributing seeds

Entering the Classroom Quarry

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Handicapped Access Trail and Kayak Shed

The University of Virginia's APO service fraternity made the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center one of their major projects this spring, putting in a handicapped access trail from our new building to an existing trail overlooking the river.  In the midst of finals, leaders Michael McGrath and Thomas Carter Foulds came over this past Sunday to finish up.  They were both happy that the recent rains hadn't washed away the layers of the trail already put in.

Vice President Sally Thomas and I were enlisted to help.  Until weeks past, I had watched APO make the trail while I was nearby teaching children nature activities.  After working on the trail Sunday, I have a new appreciation for their gift to us of our trail and for trails in general.  It was a great opportunity to learn.

I started by hosing down the existing trail as Michael raked it.  Then I shoveled stone into a wheelbarrow so we could add it to the trail.

Here I am in the truck.  I'm proud of this picture!  I've never been in a truck before shoveling stone.  It was hard getting up there.  I climbed on one of the tires.

The action shot version.

Here's Michael working on the trail.

First, we dumped stone.

And then we raked the stone into the existing layer.  The stone had to be dampened with water from a hose, and then Michael came by with the compacting roller.  If there were grooves, we raked again.  

I tried  the above.  It was as heavy as it looks.

Here is Thomas at the kayak shed.  I like the Bridge over the River Kwai T-shirt, though when you're building something it's interesting to wear a short about something that was blown up.

Here is Sally coming to help, complete with a car-full of gloves, sunscreen, and other useful items.  

After Sunday, I'm more grateful than ever for all of APO's hard work!