Surprise! After 15 years operating on the grounds of Metro’s Howell Territorial Park and the Sauvie Island Growers farm (formerly Sauvie Island Organics), Sauvie Island Center will be moving next door to Topaz Farm in the summer of 2020. We’ve made so many amazing memories at Howell – and will continue to make more as we wrap up spring programming during this field trip season. We are eternally thankful to the Sauvie Island Growers farmers and to Metro for their generous support over the years. But as they say, change is good. We couldn’t be more excited about the partnership with Topaz Farm.
Community and experience are the core of everything on Topaz Farm. Located just 12 miles from downtown Portland on Sauvie Island, Topaz Farm offers 130 acres to explore, learn and connect with farming, nature, food and the community. Summer activities include u-pick berries, u-cut flowers, weekly outdoor concerts, food stands, farm-to-plate dinners, private events and a store featuring local island produce. Topaz Farm also features fall harvest activities including multiple corn mazes, pumpkin patches and Halloween entertainment.
Our new location and partnership with Topaz Farm will allow us to expand our educational toolkit and offer more opportunities for inventive, engaging farm-based learning. Don’t worry, the best of the existing curriculum will remain intact, including all modules and curriculum alignment to Next Generation Science Standards. Here are just a few of the exciting new offerings we’re working on, alongside Topaz Farm:
- a “bee wheel” with up to an acre of land filled with interactive “spokes” of native, pollinator-friendly plants blooming seasonally
- a Grow Lunch Garden and Food Forest planted and harvested by students;
- an educational worm and compost operation;
- a turtle habitat restoration project;
- a community-driven effort to build bird and bat houses around the farm.
We’re particularly excited that Topaz Farm will be open to the public seven days a week, allowing students to learn, taste and grow together with family and friends year-round.
We could really use your help! We’ve set up a special GoFundMe to help fund the move. As always, we appreciate your support. We truly couldn’t do what we do without you.
Your donation, whether it’s $10 or $200, will give us the breathing room that we need to ensure that we’re being intentional in both creating this new site and in giving children the magical experiences that they deserve when visiting the Sauvie Island Center.
Stay tuned for more updates, beautiful photos, and even opportunities to come out and see the new site!