Fourth grade students at West Side Christian School recently were engaged in a stewardship project that integrated ecology studies with language arts that led to the culminating activity, working together to remove invasive Buckthorn. The students used their writing skills to communicate why there is a great need to remove this invasive plant.
“We need to get rid of Buckthorn. We need to spread the news to take Buckthorn out of the ecosystems. Buckthorn is very invasive, and it can take over an area. Its berries can hurt animals who eat it. The chemicals in the tree can hurt the frog population. The chemical does not allow the frog eggs to develop. Another reason to take out Buckthorn is so that we can see other plants and animals. This is called biodiversity. So please take Buckthorn out and save other plants and animals.” – Jaxson
Jessie Shulte, Blandford’s Land Management Volunteer Coordinator, and Janet Staal, Environmental Education Consultant, introduced the methods and rationale for removing invasive Buckthorn. The students were motivated! They also asked critical questions, “Where did this plant come from? What should we do with it?” They see themselves as scientists, observers, and caretakers.
Through this experience the students learn to become stewards. The outdoors serves as wonderful, meaningful source for inspiration, education, and life-long learning.