The Green Foxes Committee

The Green Foxes Committee is a group of O’Hara parents and guardians committed to making a difference by making the school more environmentally friendly. Additionally, they aim to provide learning experiences for students to become more aware of their environment and how they can make a difference.

The Green Foxes have made many contributions to O’Hara including; switching our cafeteria trays to compostable trays, implementing marker recycling in each classroom through Crayola Colorcycle, securing paper recycling bins in each classroom, and creation of a Green Resolutions Student Awareness Campaign. Many projects are in the works, including creation of a courtyard garden, Earth Day project, and playground clean up.

If you’re interested in joining or have ideas to share, contact greenfoxes@oharapto.org


Updates

Wonder Club Thursday 9.22 recap

The students were excited for another meeting of Wonder Club, as they knew we were taking a walk to the Margaret T. Weil Nature Reserve, located at 163 Cornwall Drive in Falconhurst!  We started with a bathroom break, safety talk, and clothing check as temperatures had dropped significantly after the morning rain showers.

Fifteen students and three parent volunteers headed to the nature reserve.  On the way, we noted the dark clouds, wind, and even a deceased (and smelly) deer at the back of the school property.  We walked single file as best we could down into Falconhurst and kept our eyes and ears open to avoid vehicles.

After walking the half mile in just 14 minutes, we arrived at the entrance to the nature reserve!  The students received their field journals and pencils and patiently posed for a picture.  Then we carefully walked into the park, noticing hanging branches, rocks and roots, and how to avoid poison ivy.  Soon students were circling around a small pond- they quickly noticed a large black fish!  Ms. Bernacki passed out nets, buckets, and magnifying glasses as the kids headed down into Powers Run.  We noted that the stream bed is a smooth, shale bedrock in this area.  There are some small waterfalls as well.  We noted that the area is wild, but that there are signs of human impacts, such as sewer cleanouts and broken tile pipe in the stream.  Students had a great time fording the shallow waters to walk across and downstream.  One student in particular was disappointed that we did not find any minnows in that section of Powers Run.  (This is an observation that we will try to answer with some possible theories at our next meeting, feel free to discuss with your kids!)  In all, we had about 25 minutes to visit the nature reserve.  Everyone was a very good listener, although they all wanted to stay longer!  I’m sure that your children would love to visit again soon, with you.  A couple of historical highlights: James Powers settled in this area around 1785, his log cabin is now part of a home located on Whitegate Drive.  Also, the shale ledge that creates the wide waterfall has been a popular setting for pictures since the early 1900s (fall family photo op!).

On the brisk walk back to school, many students started talking about what they are interested in.  Some said they like creating art, others like writing and math, and many of the students like sports or being outdoors.  Mrs. Glick highlighted to the group that all of those talents are useful for taking care of our environment and they are also valuable skills for becoming scientists!

Week 3 of Wonder Club will include a hike to O’Hara’s Crofton Park, where we will learn about native plants and animals.


Wonder Club, first meeting 9/15/22, Recap

For the first Wonder Club, we took time to introduce ourselves and make name tags.  Then Mrs. Glick introduced the objective for the next 50 minutes – to create a map!  We discussed that students could choose what to map: the entire school property, the playground, or an even smaller segment of the property.  We discussed concepts such as scale, cardinal direction, property lines, places of interest, purpose, and perspective.  While surveying the school property, one student was excited to lead the group to a fairy garden that she had made earlier in the day during recess!  This was an excellent example of making a discovery and adding unique detail to a map.  From the fairy garden, we walked/ran up the hillside located west of O’Hara.  Many of the students had never been to the top of that hill and they were all in awe of having the vantage point to look down onto the roof of their school.  While above the school, some comments from the group included, “The cars look like toys and the people look like ants!”, “This would be a great place to read a book under a tree!”, “Can we roll down the hill?”. (sorry, not today.)  While looking into a different valley to the south, the students commented that it looked wild and pretty, but that there were no trails, so they would not want to walk into it.  As class ended and bookbags were gathered, many students began examining the rocks along the side of the school building.  There is always so much to discover when outdoors!

Class 2 will be focused on discovering the Margaret T. Weil Nature Reserve in Falconhurst.