published February 26, 2014

What's Happening in SENCER-ISE: Forest Restoration Underway at Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center

Hailey Chenevert, NCSCE

The SENCER-ISE partnerships are now deep into their projects using compelling civic issues to forge lasting and valuable connections between formal and informal science educators. To share the great work they are doing with our community, we have started a new feature for the eNews on partnership activities. To learn more about the initiative and the partnerships, visit the SENCER-ISE website, found here .

Antioch College and the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center (OEC) are partnering on Biodiversity, Invasive Species, and Forest Restoration: Intergenerational Civic Engagement, in the Classroom and Outdoors, a project engaging older adults at the Yellow Springs Senior Center, students at Antioch College, and grade school students from across the region in forest restoration at the OEC.

Adults at the Yellow Springs Senior Center propagated plants native to the OEC during two workshops (funded by the Llewellyn Foundation) offered prior to the inception to the SENCER-ISE grant. These workshops were the basis for the work now being done in the SENCER-ISE project.

Last fall, Antioch College students planted over 300 of the propagated native plants in the demonstration restoration area at the OEC. This first planting included spicebush, shagbark hickory, zig-zag goldenrod, bluestem goldenrod, heartleaf aster, bottlebrush grass, Greys sedge, tick trefoil.

The cycle is continuing with fifth and sixth grade students enrolled in the Outdoor School at the OEC. Last fall, students in the Forest Ecology lesson collected thousands of spicebush seeds for propagation, which students of the Environmental Problem Solving lesion will be planting this winter.

The Biodiversity, Invasive Species, and Forest Restoration project has several goals, including the restoration of biodiversity in Glen Helen, improved understanding on the parts of students and community members of the basic principles of ecology related to biodiversity and invasive species through hands-on intergenerational interactions, and the increase of strong community connections. Continued monitoring of the demonstration restoration area at the OEC, participants' self-reported attitudes toward forest restoration, and formative and summative evaluation to track understanding of subject matter will be utilized in assessing the overall success of the program.

To read more about Antioch College and the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center's forest restoration project, visit their partnership page on the SENCER-ISE website, found here.