Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rain Week: Day 2

Map of locations used for campers scavenger hunt .

Oyster Mushroom
Photo courtesy of Jonee Brigham
Today campers were sent on a scavenger hunt to answer a variety of questions pertaining to different sites on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. Splitting up into groups, campers visited the Mycology Club Site to find the three edible type of mushrooms growing in the forest: Oysters, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane. Across the field to the Native American Medicine Garden, campers learned the importance of Akita Manni Yo (ah-kee-dah mahn-nee yo) which is a Lakota phrase that translates to “observe as you go”. Campers were urged to observe in the garden with their eyes, touch, and even taste buds (there was fresh lettuce growing)! Moving onto the Display and Trial Gardens, campers searched for edible plants and successfully found Stevia -a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant.

Campers posing with a wild onion stalk.
Photo courtesy of Jonee Brigham
Campers get a look at the overflow drain

Photo courtesy of Jonee Brigham
After a peaceful lunch in the shade at Cornercopia, the student organic farm, where we were able to taste some of the onions growing and met Farmer Alexa who explained what goes on at an organic farm as well as giving a tour of the fruit tree garden. Campers made their way to the Buford Avenue storm drain where they met Lauren Wimler, a civil engineer from the University of Minnesota. She talked about the many pipes underground that carry storm water, and led us down a path to a manhole that we were able to peer in, thanks to U of M plumbers Troy and Sean. Following the pipes above ground, we found ourselves at the Sarita Wetlands, where the water is let out. Even though the water did not look the cleanest, it was still fascinating to see the journey water takes from cloud to wetland. We can’t wait until tomorrow when we visit downstream!

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