By Alisa McGowan
Last week, the ERC was able to financially and programmatically support the 44th annual Wood River Middle School (WRMS) Residential Outdoor Environmental School (ROES). All 245 WRMS 6th graders attended. Many of these students have parents, and even grandparents, that have participated in this timeless local tradition!
Students participated in a WOW-Students project led by the ERC, where they learned about noxious weeds and bio-control; pulled noxious weeds from Cathedral Pines, the Harriman Trail and surrounding land; and began creating educational pieces about the importance of noxious weed awareness and control. The sixth graders surprised us greatly with their enthusiasm about pulling weeds and caring for the environment! Students were especially excited when they worked diligently to remove the entire knapweed taproot (if you’ve tried hand-pulling knapweed, you know that’s a feat!). Students remarked how if they saw knapweed near their own backyards they would grab some gloves, a shovel and a trash bag and rid it from the environment! Their enthusiasm for taking care of the environment was unparalleled!
ROES is often the first time many of the students sleep away from home and in the fresh, fall mountain air. During ROES, students participate in environmental and outdoor education activities that foster their appreciation and understanding of the Wood River Valley’s precious environment.
Being a part of ROES was an invigorating way to begin the ERC’s in-school environmental education programs this school year. It was truly an honor to work with the Wood River Middle School staff and students to cultivate the next generation of environmental leaders! We are already looking forward to next year.
To see more pictures from ROES camp visit our Facebook album.