Oak Hill School
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News Releases
Local Middle School Learns to Restore West Eugene Wetlands (Photo) - 05/08/17

This Thursday, 7th graders from Oak Hill School will don their mud boots and go tromping through the tall grasses of the West Eugene Wetlands. Fun, yes, for a middle schooler, but something much more important as well.

Oak Hill School teacher Louisa Dorsch has entwined her Life Science students with the Institute for Applied Ecology, a local (Corvallis) non-profit organization, in a two year long project to help save the thin-leaved peavine, a critically rare plant, native to the Willamette Valley. And so, along their muddy pathway, the students are also learning to apply general plant conservation and land stewardship principles in the name of assisting in the recovery of the diminutive Lathyrus holochlorus.

"It lets them get some real hands-on experience," Ms. Dorsch says. "Get muddy and learn the actual processes of field biology. They get to work with real-life scientists from the IAE. The kids are learning how to do the field work. They're learning about things that matter."

And so on the OHS campus, before this week's leg of the outdoor project, the wind bellows the flimsy temporary greenhouse. Inside it is filled to bursting with hundreds of the peavines, all student-grown. The delicate, lithe tendrils weave in the wind. The thin-leaved peavine is a delicate plant identified by the BLM as a "sensitive species" and by the USFWS as a "Species of Concern." It of local importance, it is found only in the Willamette Valley and in Douglas County along roadsides, fencerows, and hedgerows, as well as in deciduous woodlands and (historically) oak savannas. There are only 8 known remaining populations with more than 100 individual plants.

Ms. Dorsch's class, in addition to students around the region, have collected the wild seeds and are attempting to cultivate 2,500 of the plants. This Thursday, in the wilds around Fern Ridge, her students will survey and map locations for later planting. The plan is to reintroduce the peavines into appropriate habitat at four sites within the species' bio-range. And as difficult as it is to believe, this middle school project will double the number of existing plants and make huge strides in preventing its being formally listed as endangered.

Project Date: May 11, 2017 (Thursday)

Time: 8:00am to 12:00pm (Students on-site by 9:00)

Location: West Eugene Wetlands. The approximate address for the parking area is: 27607 Royal Ave, Eugene, OR 97402, but please see the attached map for the parking lot location.

Attached Media Files: DSC_0007.jpg
Oak Hill School to Premiere Student Feature Film - 05/05/17

The Secret Pact
Book by Mildred A. Wirt BENSON (1905 - 2002)
Screenplay by Alice Chathum

Oak Hill School's second full length feature film will premier for one night only on Saturday, May 27th at 7:00 pm at The Wildish Theatre in Springfield. This event is free of charge and donations will be taken at the door. Reservations are not required and seating is on a first come first served basis.

PENNY PARKER is a teen-aged sleuth and amateur reporter with an uncanny knack for uncovering and solving unusual, sometimes bizarre mysteries. The only daughter of publisher of the "Riverview Star," Penny has been raised to be self-sufficient, outspoken, innovative, and extraordinarily tenacious. Her cheerful, chatty manner belies a shrewd and keenly observant mind. Penny was the creation of Mildred A. Wirt, who was also the author of the original Nancy Drew series (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene). Wirt became frustrated when she was pushed to "tone down" Nancy Drew and make her less independent and daring. With Penny Parker, Wirt had a freer hand and received full credit. Wirt once said, " 'I always thought Penny Parker was a better Nancy Drew than Nancy is." In THE SECRET PACT, Penny sees a man savagely pushed off a bridge into the river one starry night. The man is rescued, but his stubborn denial of the attack, combined with the grotesque octopus tattoo he bears on his back, alerts Penny to the possibility of a deeper mystery. When her editor brother, reporter friends, and even the high school newspaper all reject her story about the incident, she takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her close friends, Penny starts her own blog, operating out of a formerly abandoned newspaper plant. As new clues emerge to the "Octopus tattoo" mystery, she enlists the help of anyone willing, even persuading a friend to go "under cover." Nothing, not even threats and an unexpected tornado, can deter the determined Ms. Parker.