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King Middle School Students Partner with Audobon to "Bring Nature Home"

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    Sarah Boddy

King Middle School is an EL Education Credentialed Mentor School in Portland, ME. 

Portland’s city arborist, Jeff Tarling, is impressed with the students from King Middle who engaged with the Parks Department and Maine Audobon to plant a variety of native species in the school garden and at local Deering Oaks Park. “The students are leading the way for all of us. Kudos to King Middle School for caring about our environment.”

Tarling’s accolades were part of a Portland Tribune article detailing the students’ work in the context of their Learning Expedition. Also in that article, Eric Topper, education of Maine Audobon, explains how the city’s needs and the students’ learning were mutually complementary. 

He says that the King teachers who planned this Expedition saw Audobon’s program “Bringing Nature Home” as a source of “rich content around which students could (also) apply math, science, writing, history and art (concepts) to one deep unit of study.” 

King Planting 101117

For this project, they were “entirely focused on restoring local wildlife food webs, and the students each chose plants based on their direct benefit to the birds assigned to them.”

Echoing Tarling, Topper hopes “people will see these students as agents of positive change and that this will inspire them to follow their lead.”

This is a beautiful example not only of how incorporating fieldwork and experts into an Expeditions makes the learning experience deeper and richer for students, but also how Expeditions can answer real needs in school communities. 

Read more about how King Middle Students partnered with their Parks Department and Maine Audobon here