The Eco-School Network hosts several gatherings each year to inspire action, share ideas, and build community
These include several face-to-face gatherings each school year, such as district meetings or field trips to view cutting edge practices in schools, an annual retreat, and periodic service projects for our children.
- To Sunnyside Elementary to view the gardens for each classroom, water catchment system for irrigation, the cafeteria sorting station, chicken coops, mason bee houses, and worm bins.
- To The International School to see different kinds of garden boxes and signage, hoops for cover cloths, trellis for scarlet runner beans, irrigation system, berries, and fruit trees, including espalier apple tree.
- PCC Rock Creek Learning Garden to view cover crops, composting, raised beds for classes and CSA, blueberry bushes and fruit trees, solar panels where ungulates graze, bee houses, and hydroponic systems in green houses.
- Beach cleanup. In 2013, members of the Eco-School Network thought it would be fun to involve their families in a service project. They chose a spot at Fort Stevens State Park to clean up the beach and stay overnight in the cabins and yurts. The group met for a picnic lunch then headed out to scour the sand for trash and unnatural debris. President’s day that year had spectacular weather and turned up a lot of garbage. Since then, the gathering has evolved into a massive group effort. Led by the founder of Sea Turtles Forever, the families are taken to a spot where indescribable amounts of plastics have been pushed ashore. They work for hours picking through rocks and driftwood to collect as much as possible; then the bags are hauled to the parking area and weighed. During the evening, families gather under a picnic shelter for an open fire, a potluck dinner, and end with a group campout in the yurts and cabins at Fort Stevens. Typically, the event involves about 60 parents and children who gather about 400 pounds of plastic and have a wonderful time giving back and learning together.
- Family tree and shrub planting with Friends of Trees in Damascus.
- Family park clean-up at Milwaukie Bay.