Imagine leaving school for one period, travelling to Lake Iroquois and going on a peaceful adventure with canoes in the outdoors. That’s what CVU science teacher Dave Trevithick invisions in the near future for his students here at Champlain Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont. “Students need more connections with the outdoors,” says Dave, “We have water access but don’t use it.”
According to Trevithick, the most useful way to use this water access would be through canoes. Having canoes will establish a great learning experience for students. They can spend their time outdoors instead of sitting in class for an hour and a half, allowing them to learn more about the environment. “Kids aren’t getting outside enough,” says Trevithick. According to a study done by the Outdoors Foundation, “almost half — 49.0% — of the US population ages 6 and over participated in an outdoor activity at least once in 2017. This continues three years of slight growth in outdoor participation.” The report also says that, “adults who were introduced to the outdoors as children were more likely to participate in outdoor activities during adulthood than those who were not exposed to the outdoors as children.” The report asserts that kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors, and the numbers only grow slightly.
HINESBURG– On Thursday June 1st, Champlain Valley Union High School’s Natural Resources class received goats as a part of their permaculture project. Permaculture projects are ones that will, according to Wikipedia, “develop agricultural ecosystems to be sustainable and self-sufficient.”
The goats will be cared for by students who signed up through a program called the Norman Fund which will also provide pay for those who participate. Six to seven students have been selected for that role. They will be responsible for providing care for the goats, garden, and also chickens which will be arriving at CVU on June 8th.
The overall goal for these projects is that they will provide benefits for CVU. The goats play a very important role for the CVU community. They represent a natural way to get rid of invasive species such as poison parsnip… by eating it! Goats eat grass, herbs, tree leaves and other plant material. With this, they will help get rid of the unwanted plants.
The goats are expected to be around for about six months, potentially longer. The decision is based off when the students and Dave Trevithick, the Natural Resource teacher, intends on slaughtering the goats to provide food for CVU’s Cafe.
The garden of CVU is also a project of the Natural Resources class, and that as well will be providing food for the cafe, including vegetables and fruits like raspberries, and blueberries.
CVU Redhawk Cafe — on January fifth, Dave Trevithick’s two classes of Natural Resources had a public night. Students who have been working all semester on project got a chance to present their ideas and work to the public. This work was all based around CVU, how it could be made more self sufficient, how the overall health of the watershed that CVU is in is being impacted, and many more. More impressively, the work was student driven.
This year Natural Resources got a revamp. Trevithick took the class over and redesigned the curriculum to be based around student driven (and designed) projects work that students would be able to complete. According to Trevithick the idea is to get more students involved and caring about the environment, how it impacts the school and more importantly how we impact it.
The night went smoothly overall. Students were able to get ideas out to the community and receive feedback. Some community members were very interested in the work that had been done and spend a fair amount of time talking to individuals about their findings and research.