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Third Session of Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute

I enjoyed attending the beginning of the third session of the Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute this week at Cottonwood Canyon State Park.  18  high school students from Arlington, Dufer, Boardman, The Dalles and LaGrande, four college mentors from Eastern Oregon University, four faculty members from Eastern Oregon University, three high school teachers from Arlington and 6 other adult instructors  from Greater Oregon STEM (GO-STEM), the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department  are participating in this outdoor school.

They are learning about Botany (restoration of riparian zones and tracking invasive species), Hydrology (measuring water flow and water conservation), Developing Oral Histories, and Building Solar Picnic Tables.

Notably, this is the last year the program participants will be staying in tents during the program – because the new Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center, cabins and shower/restroom facility will begin construction this fall and should be ready to house a new group of eager students next summer!

It was so much fun watching them learn that I decided to go back out for the final student presentations on Friday!

– Seth Miller, Oregon State Parks Foundation Executive Director


Botany Class tracks the growth of trees along the river bank.

Hydrology Class learns about measuring the flow of the river

Oral History Class prepares to film an interview

Solar Panel being installed in a solar charging picnic table


After final presentations…time to go home.