My experience in the Hebo Ranger District has been off to a great start! After getting acquainted with the office space, departments, and staff I was fortunate to get involved with some of the projects they have going on here. Last week, there were two different ones that I was able to help out with, and I wanted to share one in particular that really impressed me the most and was lots of fun!
This one involved the Children’s Clean Water Festival at Twin Rocks Friends Camp. The event has been happening for a few years now and it’s aimed at getting students involved in activities and presentations to learn about the Oregon wildlife and natural resources. The activities vary and the presenters come from different organizations and agencies. The Hebo staff were invited to the Festival for the second year in a row and I was able to join the Wildlife crew at the event. With the help of the amazing wildlife technicians, we created a “Build it like a Beaver” activity for almost 120 students! They came in groups and we gave a short introduction about the history of beavers in Oregon and the conservation efforts that saved them from extinction. Up next, we shared more facts about beavers and why they have the teeth they have and other skull characteristics that set them apart from predators and other rodents found in Oregon ecosystems. What surprised me the most was how knowledgeable these fourth graders were about beavers and their habitats. As it turned out, many of them had previous experiences that exposed them to nature and wildlife. I witnessed the positive impact these experiences had on these children, and I hope they learned something new that day. However, regardless of previous nature experiences, something that never ceases to amaze me is the everlasting excitement and creativity of kids as they participate on hands activities such as building a beaver dam. And so the learning continues at Hebo, Oregon.