Taking Action for Arroyo Viejo Creek
Arroyo Viejo Creek, which flows through East Oakland, near Cox Academy School, also flows through the grounds of the Oakland Zoo. Third grade students from Cox Academy had a wonderful experience helping the environment by restoring the creek, and visiting the zoo!
Students used their hands to simulate a watershed and demonstrate how the rain falls and fills creeks like Arroyo Viejo where a diversity of organisms lives. KIDS for the BAY Instructor Aislinn Sterling explained that students would be helping the creek by pulling out weeds. Invasive plants make it difficult for other plants that keep the creek healthy to grow. Students, teachers and parents got to work and discovered all kinds of organisms. They investigated fallen galls from oak trees, mushrooms, spiders and beetles, as they worked to help the creek.
As students walked along the path beside the creek as part of a scavenger hunt they found flowers, blackberry bushes, birds, squirrels, spider webs, bird’s nests and other flora and fauna. Several California newts, with bright orange bellies were discovered in the creek. Ms. Sterling reminded students that these were some of the animals they were helping by keeping the creek healthy!
To end a wonderful day of stewardship, students, parents and teachers visited the zoo. As they studied all the beautiful animals, Ms. Sterling asked the students to identify some possible adaptations. Students named the giraffe’s long tongue and the elephant’s trunk as adaptations that aid in the survival of these organisms.
The visit to the zoo was a wonderful treat for our hardworking scientists and environmentalists from Cox Academy.