Last week marked an exciting event for area environmental departments Kids In The Creek hosted by Hopland Band of Pomo Indians. The two-hour event featured different tables and displays from the area tribes all focusing on pollution and wetland health in general. Some of the presentations included invasive species outreach, water testing, ecoscape and non-point source pollution, stream assessments, insect displays and so much more. With 20-plus kids in attendance, there were plenty of participants ready to learn — and have a little fun along the way.
Our department decided to focus on invasive species outreach for the event. With Spring in full bloom, this was the perfect opportunity to educate the kids and public about those pesky plants like arundo, himalayan blackberry and water primrose that can take over an area faster than I can type this post. Our booth included a sign with facts about invasive species, some coloring sheets, a magnetic invasive species outreach handout and a special game.
The game was all about the battle between native and invasive species. Up to six people could play at once with three of the participants representing the invasive species and the other three repping native species. To illustrate the speed that invasives can take over an area those players were given two dice to move around the board quickly, while the others only used one of the dice. From there, the dice were rolling as players moved around the board trying to capture the others. At the end of the session we counted up who collected the most pieces. As you might expect the invasives won more often than not.
Overall, Kids In The Creek was a major success, and it seemed like all the kids had a blast playing the game — and even learning a little. We want to give a huge thanks to everyone at Hopland for inviting us to another awesome event.
Find us here at the end of the month with more highlights from our Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations.