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This year was our third year doing the Work-A-Thon. The Work-A-Thon is were JGEMS students, parents and teachers go to a site like Salem's Bush Park to plant trees, pull out scotch broom and make the environment an all around better place. Before we start working we talk to family and friends and politely ask for a pledge of either a flat amount or pledge by how much we work. There were six opportunities to earn your pledges. We worked at Opal Creek; we pulled out scotch broom there. At Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Reserve we tagged trees and cleared out stuff from beneath them and at Pringle Creek (Bush Park) we planted trees and pulled out black berries (this Work-A-Thon would be better known as Battle of the Blackberries). Then at a prairie near Stayton we planted endangered plants. If we couldn't get to any of the main Work-A-Thon we picked up trash Lansing(East of Waldo).The last Work-A-Thon we have done was the Leaf Haul that we did for the City of Salem. At the Leaf Haul we took leaves from people who dropped them off and dumped them in a huge pile.
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In 2004, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service began restoring an estuary habitat in Siletz Bay NWR near Newport, Oregon. Part of the restoration involved placing large woody debris in the streams to improve habitat for salmon and steelhead. USFWS asked JGEMS students to monitor the movement of the debris by tides and high water events. Students approach the sites by canoes and calculate both the movement of the wood and the depth of the holes dug out under the wood by the current. These holes are ideal resting sites for young fish. The project began in October 2003 and will continue with yearly monitoring until 2013.
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We collected donations for the orphanage that we help. We asked members to donate school, baby and household supplies. We also handed out flyers in front of stores to encourage customers to buy some items for us while they shopped. We filled up two SUV's and drove to Tijuana. We unloaded the stuff, had a tour of the orphanage and then helped with the kids. We always feel changed after we return from Tijuana. Most of the people there are very poor. Our members always wonder why it has to be like that. Is corruption in the Mexican government to blame? Could that happen here? We always feel so sad for the orphans. Most of them were abandoned when they were babies. The orphanage is clean and it seems very well-run, but the kids seem starved for affection and/or attention. We think a more positive attitude toward birth control would result in fewer unwanted kids, but we don't think we are the right group to encourage this in Mexico.
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Earth Hawks Roots & Shoots held a fundraiser for Ojai's Food for Thought program. Food for Thought is an Ojai school program that promotes the environment and health through providing a farm-fresh salad bar, nutrition education, garden-based learning, agricultural literacy and trash reduction. Earth Hawks R&S set up a concession booth at a concert fundraiser, called Locally Grown. We solicited donations from Lassen's Health Foods and sold organic apples, carrots, plums, organic sodas and snacks. We raised $325 USD. We also set up a table with photos of our past activities and Roots & Shoots brochures. Many families seemed interested in joining or starting their own R&S group. Four of our members also performed in the "Carrot Chorus" singing a song about loving vegetables. (www.foodforthoughtojai.org)
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Our school club has a paper recycling project that is ongoing and that costs the club approximately $60 a month. In order to pay for the paper to be picked up, the club engages in several fundraisers every year. This year for the first time we purchased inexpensive canvas bags that we then decorated with flowers and animals using stencils and fabric paint. We sold the bags to our families and to the school faculty.
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We held a two-day mini-camp (June 9-10) in conjunction with Copper Ridge Farm Camp. Unfortunately, these were two of the hottest days of the summer (100 degrees F!), so we weren't able to do several of the outdoor activities as we had planned. Some of the activities: 1. Water Appreciation (This activity deserves its own explanation page and will be submitted separately.) 2. Making cheese from goats' milk from the farm and sourdough bread 3. Crafts: making recycled paper, making wallets from used Capri-Sun bags 4. Dirt Dessert--ice cream treats representing Soil horizons 5. Soil Art: this activity will be explained separately. 6. Snack: eating in-season and locally available fruit (talked about pollinators)
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We hosted a table at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools' Green Schools End-of-Year Celebration at the Rockville Library. We helped participants make energy-saving light-switch plate covers by cutting the covers out of contact paper and decorating them with energy-saving messages, like "Turn off the lights. Stop global warming." and "Switch me off to save energy." We also led an energy quiz game, in which participants tried to answer three questions about energy statistics. We wrote the questions and answers on a wipe board and covered up the answers with flaps of construction paper that could be lifted to see if participants were right or not. Finally, we worked hard to promote Roots & Shoots by handing out brochures, newsletters and "ReBirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow" campaign flyers. We chatted with event attendees about Roots & Shoots and encouraged them to check out www.rootsandshoots.org for more information.
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Our biggest Roots & Shoots project is our Pearl Creek Garden. We began planning this garden several years ago and have done some significant fund raising (Garden Festival in May, 2006). We are now enjoying the success of our first planting season! While my Roots & Shoots group is leading the way with this project, our entire school is involved. Last May, students planted seeds for hundreds of pumpkins, sunflowers, nasturtiams, beans and marigolds. We seeded potatoes, peas, poppies and cover crop directly into the soil. We also built a compost pile with horse manure and grass clippings. That manure helped us to grow dozens of pumpkins, hundreds of potatoes and nine foot tall sunflowers! We are thrilled with our garden. We have just returned to school this week and children are actively learning in the garden. Classes are outside all day long doing writing, art projects and learning about the science of soil and plants. In Roots & Shoots we are tying in conversations about world hunger and sustainability with the garden. We also are using the garden to talk about nutrition and health and the benefits of "eating locally". Roots & Shoots students have learned so much and it also feels that they have given an enormous gift to the entire school and community. Our garden is beautiful!
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Our chapter is running the Fox Festival at the Santa Barbara Zoo in October so we thought it would be great to be able to work with the foxes and learn as much as we can. Susan Morris from SOS is in charge of the project and she helped us in many ways. We camped on Santa Rosa Island for three days. Every day, we helped the fox biologist, Angela Guglielmino, with many projects. We put up shelves for the foxes to rest on, attached shade cloth to protect them from the sun and wind, cleaned their pens, filled in holes in the ground where they had been digging, prepared their food, fed and watered them and removed weeds from the pens. Angela taught us all about the program and about the foxes. The foxes were afraid of us the first day, but they gradually relaxed and we noticed how each of them has a different personality. It was interesting and fun. We also learned a lot about the Channel Islands.
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Earth Savers Roots & Shoots attended a one-man show about caring for the earth at Trailside Nature and Science Center. The entertaining show discussed the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle.

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