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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

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Flower Farm Fun with Fiddlehead Montessori 

By: Abby Weaver

On a rainy winter day students from Fiddlehead Montessori on Fidalgo Island met Skagit Land Trust staff at the recently conserved Samish Flower Farm. The kids were looking forward to a day of stewardship activities. Staff began with an introduction to the history of the Samish Island property. Skagit Valley’s tulip farming began on the 34 acre site back in 1903, when Mary Stewart ordered her first bulbs and began experimenting with what grew best in the local soils. Now over a hundred years later, the bulbs had moved on the Skagit flatlands, and recovering wetlands remained. Students were led by Trust staff through hundreds of shrubs recently planted to help restore the habitat. The Trust’s Engagement AmeriCorps Member, Abby Weaver, talked with the students about how to identify a wetland and the unique ecosystems that wetlands create. Students called out different animals that would use the wetland, and concluded that wetlands are very important for wildlife!

Next the students and chaperones got their hands dirty planting trees on the property. The Trust’s Stewardship AmeriCorps, Tori Woods, led an in depth planting demonstration with the children gathered around her in a circle. Students worked together to dig the hole both wide and deep enough, build a volcano mound of mud in the hole, and gently lay the roots of the plant over the mound. Some students used shovels to dig, while others simply used their hands. Next, they installed tree protectors on each plant to keep animals away from the leaves and roots of the plant. Creating lots of “mud soup”, the students then did their best to fill in the holes that were wet due to lots of rain in the month of January. Despite these conditions, the

students did not give up! The whole class worked as a team, borrowing soil from each other to properly plant the trees. Once finished, students gathered back together for lunch and hot chocolate.

Finally the class was led down to the beach on a nature walk. Listening to the bald eagles overhead and rain drops hitting the water, students took in the sights and sounds of this natural beach. Some headed straight for the water to wade in as far as their rain boots would allow, while others stayed up on the shore hunting for shells that caught their eye. Not a typical school day, but one that certainly brought learning to life!

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