by Paulette Brunner '10
Nature Discovery Days is a tradition on Camano Island started by the Friends of Camano Island State Park (FOCIP) over 20 years ago. Every spring about two hundred second graders, parents and teachers from Stanwood and Camano schools come to Camano Island State Park (CISP) for a day of discovery in the forest, watershed, estuary and beach. Sound Water Stewards participate in conjunction with FOCIP and representatives from the Stillaguamish Tribe and CISP.
Twenty one Sound Water Stewards led the beach activities at Camano Island State Park for Nature Discovery Days this spring on May 11th and 12th.
Fish seining was a big hit this year. Both students and adults were fascinated as the nets brought in pipefish, perch, flounder, sculpin and shrimp. SWS volunteers Gary Skorheim and John Custer gave a mini lesson on the importance of salmon in our waters and why we don’t include salmon in the seining.
Beach Walks showed off our local flora and fauna and also included stewardship when students found, and actually enjoyed picking up, trash on their walk. CISP interpretive specialist, Tina Dinzl-Pederson gave an impromptu talk on the problem of plastics in our waters.
Barnacle feeding, an activity developed by Alice Blandin, is always a favorite as students become barnacles, feeding on plankton bubbles at high tide and closing up tight at low tide.
It’s always fun to see the world through a second graders eyes. At a plankton station, one student looking through a field microscope excitedly yelled “I see a crab” and pointed to a photo of a barnacle larvae. Do you see a resemblance?
One boy was overheard saying “I learned more today than I did all year”. A most enjoyable two days and a job well done!