Catlin Gabel students head to Mt. Hood to restore degraded environment

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Press Release

Jun 12, 2007

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nadine Fiedler

503-297-1894 ext 301

fiedlern@catlin.edu

Catlin Gabel students head to Mt. Hood to restore degraded environment

This week 23 Catlin Gabel high school students head to the Barlow Ranger District on Mt. Hood for a week of tough work on a land restoration project—the 16th year of an annual trip that has made a real difference in an extremely degraded riparian habitat.

 

Press Release

Jun 12, 2007

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nadine Fiedler

503-297-1894 ext 301

fiedlern@catlin.edu

Catlin Gabel students head to Mt. Hood to restore degraded environment

This week 23 Catlin Gabel high school students head to the Barlow Ranger District on Mt. Hood for a week of tough work on a land restoration project—the 16th year of an annual trip that has made a real difference in an extremely degraded riparian habitat.

The Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project was established in 1991. Elana Gold was a Catlin Gabel student who died in a plane crash; her parents established the project, a living memorial to her, in one of her favorite places. Since then Catlin Gabel students have contributed over 15,000 hours of labor in areas that were severely degraded by a century of cattle overgrazing, severe wildfire, and intensive salvage logging. The project goals are to increase habitat for fish and other wildlife, decrease erosion, improve stream water quality, and thin timber to reduce the risk of fire. Students build fences to exclude cattle and vehicles from sensitive wetland areas, install native plants along stream banks to shade and cool streams, and add woody debris to streams for fish and other wildlife habitat.

On the Elana Gold trip students learn about ecosystems and the need for environmental restoration through direct, hands-on experience. The camaraderie and fellowship of overcoming physical challenges through teamwork and living “in the rough” together provide many opportunities for growth seldom found inside a classroom. Each year several alumni, as well as members of the Catlin Gabel faculty and staff, accompany the students and pitch in to help as well.

Bowman Leigh ’06, a frequent Elana Gold trip participant, wrote, “Whether it’s a community of plants and wildlife living within the riparian zones, or a community of people working together to protect them, participants on the Elana Gold trip learn that this sense of interconnectedness is something worth appreciating, wherever it exists. Beavers and fish depend on fallen logs and the roots of trees to strengthen stream banks and regulate water flow. People depend on the land to provide shelter and food. We are all connected to each other, and especially to the Earth. The Elana Gold project emphasizes, even supercharges, this sense, forming a unique kind of community.”