Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors October!

The next Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors is scheduled for Thursday, October 20th.  Come join us!

Make sure you get a permission slip from Ms.Levy and send it back to Ms.Levy.

Have your parents email Ms.Levy at

See you in a few weeks!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lake Wallace Field trip Tuesday Sept 27th

The day started off murky

But we perservered, identifying measuring and mapping the trees.
The day brightened in the afternoon.  Is it supposed to be this hot in the last week of September?!

Garter Snake, Green Frog, ooh and that is a leech!

Back in the classroom, we got some pretty good shots of the Red-spotted salamander larva and the Giant Water Bug (ok, not that giant, only 1" long)

Overall, a very successful trip, with some solid learning, good data for mapping, and a great chance to explore around the beautiful, bountiful area that is Lake Wallace.  Thanks a million to Ms.Alves, Ms.Lucas, Rae and Devin Griffiths for chaperoning the trip!

Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors tackle Tall Trees!

Well, looks like you just can't beat some teamwork for a great afternoon!  Our little guys were in charge of some big-time measuring tapes, while our 3rd, 5th,6th,7th and 12th graders handled the tangent gauges in our attempt to measure the height of some impressive trees at the edge of Foley Fields....there was some serious mathematical discussion going on.  The explorers learned a bit about identifying local deciduous trees, then set to work using two different methods to estimate the height of the trees.

Take two 45 degree angles and one right angle, and a super long tape, and it seems you have the height of a tree...right?  Wait, though, Mr.Clark doesn't quite believe that the tree is THAT tall.

So we tried the artists thumb method... and got a different answer.  That's when the hot debates really started!

Once the trees were done with us, we dipped into the water and found that there is still lots of life in Lake Wallace.

That's the larval molt of one very big dragonfly!

Thanks to Mr.Clark and Ms.Brunelle for joining us to chaperone, and to the kids, teens and parents who made this event another success!

Lake Wallace Clean-up, Sat Oct 1, 2011

Forecast of thunderstorms kept other volunteers away.  Belchertown High School Science teachers Louise Levy and Dave Monroe spent an enjoyable time scouting and scouring, but delightfully, didn't find much trash!  The resident beaver has raised the level of the water substantially and we suspect that there's lots more trash under the water, out of sight.   We will be checking the school calendar to reschedule the trail maintenance within the next few weeks and looking into ways to expand the clean-up for next year with more partners and further down the Lampson Brook... with the appropriate permissions, of course.

We worked between the raindrops and collaborated on new and better ways to engage our students outdoors on the BHS campus and at Lake Wallace ... just across the street from the Belchertown schools.  We worked out preliminary plans to transform a patch of woodland on the BHS campus into a study site for Biology classes and discussed who to involve in a school-garden beautification project.  Other topics included inter-school collaboration and community engagement once Andrea Donlon, River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council, stopped by for a visit.  Just goes to show you just how much we can do when we have a chance to chat!

go to the CRWC's website for more info about the clean-up, river-wide.

For the CRWC's Cleanup Chronicle, go to ...
we're listed as BEST of Lake Wallace in the Massachusetts listing