The middle schoolers at Chrysalis Charter School spent their morning cleaning up Palo Cedro Park as part of their weekly field study program. The sixth and seventh graders collected a total of 55.25 pounds of trash comprised mostly of star thistle, random pieces of paper and plastic and glass, lots of decaying plastic fencing, and a few pieces of rusted metal (including a rather big one that was 20 pounds!) One of the students, Canyon said, “I grew up playing at the park. It looked so much better after we were done.”

The field study program at Chrysalis has the mission of empowering children to become stewards of, connect with, and make sense of the greater world. Administrator Irene Salter said, “We are lucky to live in a town with such wonderful natural resources. I love that Chrysalis is able to develop that love of nature and science in our students through things like weekly field study, our rafting trip and camping in places like Lava Beds and Yosemite.”

What did students learn? In the words of a student, Zay, “Picking up trash is important because it helps the earth and our atmosphere.”