We design Field Programs for students to study the ecosystem of a site within the Columbia Slough Watershed and its nearby habitats. These trips are the field component for students who have completed at least one classroom presentation.
What to Expect
Field activities include:
- Wildlife observation
- Permeability, porosity, and the flow of water
- Visiting Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Pump Station
- Water quality testing
- Macroinvertebrate sampling
- Identifying native and non-native plants
- Habitat studies
Field programs generally last between 1.5 - 2 hours and can include a stewardship project or deeper scientific investigation.
After studying watersheds and riparian zones, students can participate in riparian restoration projects through our partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, including:
- Invasive plant removal
- Mulching and trail maintenance
- Planting native herbs and shrubs
Cost and Transportation
Slough School programs are offered free of charge to teachers and students within the Columbia Slough Watershed. Thanks to funding from Metro, the Gray Family, and the Cities of Gresham and Fairview, you can bill school bus fees to Slough School.
We plan for Slough School field lessons to be in line with the science curriculum and standards that you are meeting in the classroom.
Our programming supports Next Generation Science Standards at each grade level.
Many field trips take place at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, which has an outdoor classroom, pond access and limited indoor study areas.
HOT TIP: In May - mid November 2017, Whitaker Ponds will be under construction as Portland Parks works on a new entrance to the park on NE 47th. Please work with us to find alternative natural areas for field trips during this timeframe. Thank you!
Other sites within the watershed include:
- Salish Ponds Wetlands
- Nadaka Nature Park
- Wilkes Creek Headwaters
- Groundwater Pump Station
- Columbia Blvd. Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Columbia Children’s Arboretum
- Kelley Point Park
Come to field experiences dressed appropriately for the weather! During the fall, winter, and spring it’s a great idea to wear:
- Warm layers
- A waterproof layer
- Closed-toed shoes or boots
...all of which are OK to get dirty!
Slough School has raingear, boots, and gloves for your students to borrow if they want it - let us know!
We also need to be safe in our urban natural areas! We remember these guidelines in the field:
- Sharp: Leave sharp things on the ground and tell an adult
- Slippery: Walk carefully on surfaces
- Stay With the Group: Always be able to see and hear your adult leaders
Please invite enough adult chaperones to meet a 1:10 adult to student ratio.
If you are interested in creating a plan of study with the Slough School, contact:
Jennifer Starkey, Education Director
Phone: (503) 281-1132