Entries by McKenzie McCann

Winter Projects and the Food Web

Hey y’all. It’s January. As you know, our fall field trip season ends in November and the spring season doesn’t start until April. We do a few classroom visits every week throughout the winter, but our program schedule is much lighter for these few months. This gives me a chance to review all the feedback […]

Summer Farm Camp 2023: A Recap

Hello Friends and Farmers. Our fourth year of Summer Farm Camp at Topaz Farm is one for the history books. We had four weeks of camp (two in-house, two partnered with Catlin Gabel) and served 77 campers. Our gratitude is with our funders from the Juan Young Trust and Herbert A. Templeton Foundation for supporting […]

Spring 2023 Field Trips: A Recap

Hello Friends and Farmers. Our final Spring 2023 Field Trip was on June 8th. Thanks to our Portland State University Capstone students and cohort of interns, we were able to offer field trips 4 days a week this spring. That was 35 field trips, 11 more than Fall 2022! That’s 11 classes from Washington County, […]

Poetry in the Garden 2023

Thanks to our funding partners at West Multnomah Water and Soil Conservation District, we are able to run a sequenced, 9-year curriculum for the Sauvie Island School. From Kindergarten to 8th Grade, each class comes back annually and the lessons are aligned with the in-house, place-based curriculum of this charter school. In their 6th Grade […]

Reflections on Pollinators

Spring has arrived on the farm. Frogs are singing in the ephemeral pools. The dandelion, borage, currant, Oregon grape, strawberry, cherry, pear, and apple flowers bloom in whites, pinks, yellows, and purples. The thick mud from winter rains are finally drying up. With flowers so abundant right now, we know who else to keep our […]

REGISTRATION CLOSED: Family Farm Day: March 31st

We’re hosting a Family Farm Day during spring break!. School is out on Friday, March 31st. Play outside with us! At 10 AM, we will have activity stations set up and knowledgeable educators to facilitate* your morning in the garden. Step One: Pickup your Passport from the Grow Lunch Garden Step Two: Explore the Farm** […]

Family Farm Day: Plant Part Art

You’ll never pay as close attention to the individual cup-shaped flowers of a lavender or vein patterns on a carrot until you try to draw it. That’s why we love botanical illustration at the Sauvie Island Center — it’s the naturalist’s Life Hack to learning Plant ID. And at our upcoming Family Farm Day, you […]

Family Farm Days: Pollination Station

Here at the Sauvie Island Center, we love bees! And butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, beetles, ants, flies and even mosquitos (OK fine, we’re still working on that last one — don’t tell the kids!). Why? Because they’re all pollinators! Pollen hitches a ride on these keystones species as they feed on nectar, fertilizing the plant so […]

Fall 2022 Field Trips: A Recap

Hello Friends and Farmers. Our final Fall 2022 Field Trip was on November 17th. Thank you for another lovely season. It was a delight to be running our program at pre-pandemic capacity.   We ran 24 field trips, serving around 650 students from Portland and Scappoose School Districts, and all but 3 of those trips […]

Family Farm Day: Seed Dissection

Seeds contain all the biological information to grow the next generation of plants. Seeds carry not just DNA, but cultural history. Hold all the possibilities in your hand and see how each story begins. Can you find the seed coat, cotyledon, embryo, and new leaves like this Farm Camper did? Guess you’ll have to come […]