Windham Foundation » Enhancing Windham and the Mountaintop through Education, Recreation and the Arts

Author Archives:

Water Quality and Conservation

What a great school year it has been for the students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett’s (WAJ) Science Club. For six sessions out of the year these students got the chance to explore the Forest Ecosystem at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’ Siuslaw Model Forest.   The club participants wrapped up another great year with two sessions in June covering stream ecology as well as freshwater fishing.

 With the help of Fran Martino (River Haggie Outdoors) and Deb Valerio (WAJ Teacher), CCE Environmental Educator Andrew Randazzo taught the group about the importance of water conservation.   The WAJ Science Club studied stream quality by assessing macroinvertebrates, studied water temperature and PH and got a chance to learn about fish identification.   Not to mention, they got to spend an afternoon fishing!   For some students it marked the first opportunity they have had to get out and fish, for others it was the first time they thought of fishing through the lens of conservation.   While it may be sad the club is ending for the year, no one can say our year of learning wasn’t memorable!  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties looks forward to continuing the club next year with programming on Citizen Science.

 The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. Their support has enabled the science club to run for several years, offering young people an exciting chance to learn about the natural world.

Back to Top|Donate Today!|Contact Us

The Role of the Naturalist

Last month students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett (WAJ) Elementary School Science Club were waylayed by the rain so decided to become indoor naturalists during one of their regular sessions hosted by the 4-H Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties (CCE).  Club participants got to test their powers of observation and their knowledge of ecosystems at CCE’s Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra.  Participants picked one tree or plant sample to observe and sketch in their field journals.   Students were invited to think about the roles that plant might play in an ecosystem as well as any potential impacts they might have.

 Deb Valerio, teacher at WAJ, and Andrew Randazzo, CCE Environmental Educator helped the students connect all the plants and their functions into a forest ecosystem canvas that they created.   The group overlaid the plants and sketched the animals in a manner they felt would create a healthy forest.  Afterwards, they explored the impacts that development might have on the forest and created a verbal development plan that would help to minimize any negative consequences of building on the site.  The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. The next session of the program is scheduled to take place in June and will cover topics related to stream ecology.

Back to Top|Donate Today!|Contact Us

Introduction to Dendrochronology

Last week the Windham-Ashland-Jewett (WAJ) science club got to think about the forest ecosystem in a whole new way!   Andrew Randazzo (CCE Environmental Educator) and Deb Valerio (teacher from WAJ) helped familiarize club participants with dendrochronology.  Dendrochronology is the study of tree age using tree rings. It is used to both understand tree growth patterns as well as atmospheric and climatic conditions.

Developing an understanding of dendrochronology helps students paint a big picture.   A picture that displays the interconnected nature of the forest ecosystem.  Through the use of a Lab-aids dendrochronology kit as well as an increment borer students made connections between tree growth, weather patterns and the availability of water.  All with a focus on field based instruction and learning.

The WAJ Science club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation.

Back to Top|Donate Today!|Contact Us

Windham Foundation Funds Science Field Trips

What a great school year it has been for the students from Windham-Ashland-Jewett’s (WAJ) Science Club. For six sessions out of the year these students got the chance to explore the Forest Ecosystem at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties’ Siuslaw Model Forest.   The club participants wrapped up another great year with two sessions in June covering stream ecology as well as freshwater fishing.

With the help of Fran Martino (River Haggie Outdoors) and Deb Valerio (WAJ Teacher), CCE Environmental Educator Andrew Randazzo taught the group about the importance of water conservation.   The WAJ Science Club studied stream quality by assessing macroinvertebrates, studied water temperature and PH and got a chance to learn about fish identification.   Not to mention, they got to spend an afternoon fishing!   For some students it marked the first opportunity they have had to get out and fish, for others it was the first time they thought of fishing through the lens of conservation.   While it may be sad the club is ending for the year, no one can say our year of learning wasn’t memorable!  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties looks forward to continuing the club next year with programming on Citizen Science.  Thank you Windham Foundation for funding an amazing year of learning.  The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation. Their support has enabled the science club to run for several years, offering young people an exciting chance to learn about the natural world.

Back to Top|Donate Today!|Contact Us