Hope you’ve all enjoyed this both beautifully sunny and super rainy weekend!
One of the highlights of this past week was the visit from Aeon and Mack from Mountain True on Thursday! They spent most of this beautiful day with us, and we helped them conduct a three-part stream study of the health of our middle South Fork of the New River… We gathered samples of macroinvertebrates using kick-nets, leaf packs, and visually inspecting different habitats, and then identified and counted the macroinvertebrates we collected. Since different types of macroinvertebrates are sensitive to pollution at different levels, they are great indicators of overall stream health. If samples contain many macroinvertebrates that can only survive in clean water (with low “tolerance ratings”), that indicates a healthier, less polluted environment. Our overall rating was 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 8, with low scores being better. So that’s pretty good, especially for a river right downstream from the town of Blowing Rock. We also found out that it’s not a good idea to build things like dams, chutes, cairns, and rock balancing art in rivers, as it disrupts the delicate ecosystem. Their suggestion to us was to let the dam the kids built in the river naturally fall apart from the force of the water (with all this rain I wonder if it will be gone tomorrow!). Aeon and Mack really conveyed their enthusiasm about rivers and the creatures that live in them…witnessing their passion about their fields and the process of science was inspiring!
In addition to exploring the river, several kids took advantage of the sunny day by using hand magnifying lenses to amplify sunlight to make fire. They discovered they could actually burn letters onto wood using the hand lenses!
We’ve had a visitor this week applying for our temporary facilitator position…Kelsey Plodzik-Meyers, who has just completed her bachelor’s degree in Social Work at ASU, and served as a counselor during an internship in Avery County Schools. She will be starting her master’s degree in Social Work at ECU this summer, but is available to facilitate with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of this year! She seems to have a natural ability to connect with the kids, and we’ve really enjoyed her presence, so we’re excited that she can be with us these next few weeks.
Other things we’ve been up to this past week were: another drama class with Caleb, working on the yearbook, watching videos about macroinvertebrates and playing games about how they eat – to prep for Thursday’s visit from Mountain True, lots of spit and spoons card games (I’m finally getting better at spit!), Yu-Gi-Oh with Harper and Ray, learning how to knibble, a play planning meeting and play practice (and filming), another spontaneous mini-play with kids not involved in the big play :), researching cultures/cuisines, volunteering at the food pantry, and finishing up reading A Wrinkle in Time!
Tomorrow we’ll have our ASU student friends coming back to help us share foods and interesting facts about the cultures of Kenya, Germany, and India. We also have several more visitors coming the following week and upcoming events on non-WW days (see below). One event the kids have been really excited about is a “showcase” evening where kids can share a talent, activity, skill, or anything entertaining with other Wildwood kids and families, followed by a dance party…planned for the evening of our last day of Wildwood, May 17 (more details to come). We’ll also be enjoying the beautiful outdoor space here at FaithBridge as much as we can during our final weeks here! We are going ahead with the plan to rent the space at Regeneration Church for next fall (which is going to give us LOTS more pleasant and functional indoor space)…however we are always looking out for other more permanent options, so feel free to keep passing on ideas or possibilities to us if you come across any.
Enjoy your week!
- We’ve tentatively scheduled our last community meeting (closing out the year and planning for summer and next year) for Wednesday, May 9 at 5:30pm. The location would be in town again, at Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Please let us know ASAP — no later than this Friday April 20 — if this date/time is possible for you. Thanks so much!
- Culture/cuisine sharing day #1: Kenya, Germany, and India (with visiting ASU students)
Wednesday, April 18, 12-3: SciDay (Family Central, Jefferson, NC)
Friday, April 20: APPlause performance, Black Violin
Saturday, April 21, 10-1: Children’s Fair of the High Country (National Guard Armory)
Wildwood will have a booth at this fair and will be sharing activities with kids there…feel free to come by and join us!
- 5:30pm: Wildwood Kids’ “Showcase” and Dance Party