Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plant Walk at Ellison Park

Thursday, October 20th

Marcie is organizing a plant walk with Mikaela, who we met at the Allen Brooks Nature Centre field trip. She is very passionate and knowledgeable about plants and trees and has given some information about what she will be offering: "A 1-1.5 hour plant walk at Ellison Park . We will look at a few select trees (Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Cottonwood, Rocky Mountain Maple and Birch) We will learn to identify them, talk about their uses and for those who want, they can try some Douglas fir chewing gum. Make sure no one is allergic to resin....quite a few people are. We will identify some shrubbery such as Oregon grape and snow berries and talk about uses and cautions. I will bring with me some frozen berries and some roots for the kids to try if they want and are allowed to. However most of the talk will be about the lichen and the moss that is just glorious right now. We will compare moss to lichen and also compare the species to each other. I will bring some magnifying glasses to look closer at them. If any of the children have their own it would be fantastic if they could bring that. We will learn about historic uses for some lichen and moss and I will show some yarn that has been dyed with lichen. I want to talk a little about how mosses and lichen grow and show the kids this miniature wonderland. I also intend to speak shortly about the animals at the park with special focus on Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, chipmunks and White tailed deer. At the end we will have a question and answer session. Of course they can ask questions at any time during the hike but I like having that time at the end to round the talk off. My fee will be $5 per child (This year the prices that I charge are less than I will in the future) The max amount of children in one group is 15. With 15 children I require minimum 2 adults to tag along. These adults will not have to pay the fee. If there are 8 or less children 1 adult is sufficient. I prefer if the ages of the children are sort of close together as it is easier to know at what level to talk, however if the group is mixed that is fine too. I want to stress that if the parents are uncomfortable with their children tasting Douglas fir resin and Oregon grape berries and root then they should perhaps not let their child along for the hike. I will not resume any responsibility for any allergic reactions. I have used these plants for a long while and I have not had any ill effects but I made a salve for my sister with resin in it and she flared up and had to treat it with antibiotic, we found out that she is super allergic to resin. So I just want to make it extra super clear that I will not take responsibility for the children. I will be very cautious as to what I let them try and what I teach them. I currently don't have liability insurance so I will need waiver forms to be signed by the parents. I hope that this stipulation is ok."

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