Volunteers on Prince of Wales Island work and learn
April 28, 2016
Linfield College students volunteered their spring break time to do brush work at the El Capitan area to open the ocean view to camping visitors.
Service work the group provided for the Forest Service included:
“The group worked hard all week,” said Forestry Technician (Recreation) Katie Rooks. “The students were eager to learn and work, and it showed as their smiling faces greeted the coordinators every morning, with a little extra coffee and cookies for them, as well.”
A highlight of their work projects was building a new chicken coop for Thorne Bay School, which already has a complete greenhouse, converted from hydroponics to aquaponics last year. Colter Barnes, the school principal, is passionately engaged with this project and has spearheaded it from the beginning. He presented facts about the aquaponics system and how it works to the group last week, and then got them to work framing and finishing a chicken coop, complete with roosts and laying boxes. Jonathan Fitzpatrick of Southeast Island School District also presented to the group about biomass boilers.
By the end of the week, the group had already put in their work hours, so a visit to Kasaan’s Totem Trail and Whale House was first on their agenda. Two members of the group had been here last year on the Alternative Spring Break trip and remembered it clearly, but as the renovation work on the Whale House has progressed, it looked much different now. The tour was made complete by Harley, a young Haida man we met in the carving shed who gave us a tour and spoke to us about many aspects of Haida traditional culture. He even sang a song using a traditional drum box handed down through his family. Harley’s stories about the totems, their meanings and traditional culture in general were wonderful and the students were listening in rapt attention. Before leaving, they were given the honor of helping the Whale House restoration crew move some large floor timbers into the Whale House.
Then it was on to Craig, where the big attraction was whales, and the students were lucky enough to see all kinds of marine mammal life from the point at Graveyard Island, and even a whale-tail slap (after a short visit to town for some souvenirs and hot drinks).
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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