a The Learning Garden: August 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Great Owl.

Great Horned Owl in the Forest Beside the Learning Garden. July 30, 2009.

Environmental Education 2009

Students at Work in The Learning Garden

Student Field Notes (excerpts):

# 1
Mill Creek Park Reflection:

I feel a sense of peace amongst nature. There is a delight in it that makes you wonder why humans take its beauty for granted. I'm at one with nature - I do not feel a sense of control or power over it. The distant flow of water gives me a feeling of serenity. I embrace the calmness that surrounds me. Embrace nature and all it does.

Three Questions for Mother Nature:

If I could ask three questions
what would they be? Where
would I start and where would they go?

I could tear the inner secrets from
ten thousand different suns, or probe the
geometry of things humans will never see.

I could ask about what will be
long after bones have turned to dust,
or even sacred mysteries like
"what is divinity?"

Above all else I think my question would be
something self-serving but simple,
like "what am I" or "why me".

But the answer, I suspect, I already know;
it's written on the wind, stars, and sand,
spoken in a patient sigh to ever-present demand.

It belies a false simplicity, it is, quite simply,
Just Be.

(By Anon)


Taking EDST 588, getting involved with The Learning Garden, and doing several nature site visits has given me a new appreciation for where I currently live. I am seeing things more in the moment, and as they are. I have made a great effort to see, and describe, "What is here?" I have a renewed enthusiasm for eating and living well, and I think daily about getting out for a trip to a local spot where the natural environment is prominently featured, like a park, wood, or creek. Sometimes we do not truly appreciate where we are, and what we have. I know that, in my often harried day-to-day existence, this is the case. I do not stop and smell the roses often enough along the way. ... as Wendell Berry said, "what we need is here".

Read more of JD's Enviro Ed Blog here


Mill Creek Regional Park

- Wasps collect water from small cracks in rocks
- Needles and leaves fall silently into the pool of rippling water
- A fish surfaces and grabs something from the surface of the water. I scan to try and see where the fish is hiding but it has disappeared into the shadowy depths of the pool
- A fly bounces through the air and comes to rest on my arm. A light ticklish sensation drives me to wave the fly onward.
- The water cascades from a rocky outcropping above, splashing into the pool below. Waves moves outward from the initial point of contact.
- A dragonfly swoops in and skims its way back and forth over the pool. Its beating wings emit a humming sound that grows stronger as it gains speed.
- The trembling aspen leaves rustle back and forth in the light breeze.
- A monarch butterfly floats near the edge o the creek. It eventually comes to rest on the leaf of a large alder tree.
- The wind again forces the trees to shake back and forth. Small fir needles drop on to the surface of the pool. No sign of fish mistaking the needles for freshly fallen bugs.

Move location – top of water fall looking down on the pool

- Mud wasps are gathering sediment from an almost dried pool of creek water....

The Learning Garden Book

Available at:
- UBC Okanagan bookstore
- Peter Lang Publishers
- Amazon
- Powells

Read more here

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Field Trip: Farmer's Market/Mission Creek Park

Trevor examines the radishes.

Mission Creek

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This year students made a trail sign that helps explain the significance of The Firepit.

Weeding and Raking.