The Green Team was originally formed in 2000 by Park School teachers, Ro Rigney and Quynh Nguyen, with the help of Marin Conservation Corps. These committed teachers organized a group of 3rd and 4th grade student volunteers who forfeited their lunch recess to help the school recycle and compost!
The Green Team is successful today with the support of ZeroWaste Marin. We currently divert much of our lunch waste from our landfill containers to our compost and recycling cans. The Green Team is now open to all grades and children can sign up by telling their teachers that they are interested in joining.
Contact Kim Kirley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or ideas that you would like to see implemented at Park School under the direction of the Green Team.
Creek Restoration: Park School Students Restoring Mill Valley Watershed
For the past fourteen years, students from Park have been planting native grasses and plants along Mill Valley creeks, primarily Warner Creek in Boyle Park. Teachers and their students have been involved in a program called Students and Teachers Rebuilding A Watershed (STRAW).
The work began in 2000 at Warner Creek in Boyle Park with Park 1st grade teacher, Ro Rigney, and three other teachers: 3rd grade teacher Dee Uyeda, 2nd grade teacher Susan Falkenrath and 3rd grade teacher Judith Barry. They worked with scientists to develop a long-range plan to improve conditions of the water and surrounding area for native wildlife.
The goal is to make the creeks attractive to steelhead fish (which used to frequent the waters about thirty years ago) and other forms of creek-life, as well as revive native songbird populations, which had been dwindling due to the increase of European plants and grasses in Marin. Some neighbors may even remember a multitude of frogs that used to make Warner Creek their home.
The project is headed by Liz Lewis, biologist with the Marin County Department of Public Works, and Laurette Rogers and Emily Allen from the STRAW organization. Often present at the yearly digs are representatives from The Bay Institute, Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Department and Marin Conservation Corps volunteers, Sometimes ornithologists from Point Blue (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory) join as well. Small groups of students take turns planting and going birding.
Supported by parent volunteers, students have planted over 1,000 natives including Juncus (a native grass), Wild California Rose, Chain Fern, White Alder, Coyote Bush, Carex Sedge, Flowering Current, Blackberry, Elderberry, Coffeeberry, Gooseberry and Snowberry. The have also removed non-native English Ivy, Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry.
Throughout the year in the classroom, STRAW teachers immerse their students in related curriculum on creek water studies, and research of native mammals, insects and birds. Students develop a sense of care for the land from hands-on experience. They learn to value and become stewards of the watershed, and to protect it, along with the animals that live in it.
Suggested ways to protect the creeks:
- Don’t let pollutants go down the storm drains on your street. All storm drain water ends up in our creeks and the bay.
- Stay out of the creeks and give the plants along the banks a chance to grow.
- Please report dumping or pollution of any stream in Mill Valley by calling the Public Works Department at 388-4033.