The Sauvie Island Center serves elementary school youth of Portland by providing hands-on educational field trips at our Sauvie Island location in Howell Territorial Park, managed by Metro. Through our education programs, the Center seeks to increase the food, farm and environmental literacy of the next generation.
The field trips take place on the Sauvie Island Organics farm, and the curriculum includes modules covering Soil Investigations, Plant Parts Investigations, and Wildlife and the Food Chain. Our trips also include the Grow Lunch Garden, where students plant, tend, harvest and eat fresh vegetables from their own field.
Established in 2005, the Sauvie Island Center educates youth about food, farming, and the land.
what we do
The Sauvie Island Center increases food, farm and environmental literacy in the community by providing hands-on educational field trips for elementary school children. The trips, which take place on the Sauvie Island Organics farm and on the grounds of the 120 acre Howell Territorial Park managed by Metro, offer a rich and unique opportunity for Portland elementary school students to visit and explore a real, working farm.
Our farm-based curriculum was developed through a unique partnership between farmers, educators and culinary professionals. Currently, there are five curriculum modules, each designed to educate children about the relationship between the food they eat, farming and the land.
Soil Exploration – Students dig into the compost pile to discover what constitutes “healthy” soil, and to better understand its relationship to the farm system.
Seed to Harvest – Students plant, tend and harvest vegetables from their own farm row, the Grow Lunch Garden.
Plant Parts Investigation – Students explore the farm while searching for and tasting food that represents each of the six plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds.
Wildlife & the Food Web – To learn about the food web, students hone their sensory awareness skills while inspecting the landscape for signs of wildlife foraging on the farm.
Pollination Station -Students search for pollinators at work in the native hedgerow, the heritage orchard and on the farm, while learning about the critical role pollinators play in our food system.