|With Chris from the City of Redmond on the trail.|
Today we were lucky to have a visit from Redmond's Urban Forestry Program worker, Chris Tolonen. Chris arrived and sat in on circle time with us so we could ask him questions about what he does. He explained that he and his crew worked to keep the trails free from debris like branches and twigs. One of the TOP kids asked if he had cleared the big tree that had fallen across one of our trails and he told us that someone from his crew had. He taught us all how to hold the rakes carefully and how to rake up the trails so that they would be clean to hike on. We told Chris that we often stop and pick up branches or big sticks that have fallen on the trail and move them to the side so that everyone can have a good hiking experience. Then we stood up and sang the TOP song to him. I think he was very impressed with our singing.
As we walked into the woods we were looking for places on the trail that needed some cleaning up. Just like sweeping a kitchen floor, trails need tidying. As we worked our way over the little bridge and up towards the elephant tree-the trail looked better and better. We made it past the big bridge and up another trail all the way to one of the hidden pumpkins! These TOP kids really know how to be nature stewards at their own park! Pretty soon the kids were discovering new places to hide and play and we were done with raking. But for 3-5 year olds-we really acommplished a lot. We said our goodbyes to Chris and sat down for snack on a log.
We had still had time after snack for explorations into stumps and over them. Some kids were playing airplane. Ruby found a worm and she and Henry spent a lot of time examining it and talking about what a worm does. Isaac fell into a rotted tree stump and had to be helped out. Gilberto balanced on a felled tree and then it was time for lunch in the sun. It was a cold day but we were warm knowing that we had helped our park be a better place to enjoy.