On Mighty Acorns field trips, students are led in three activities; a game, a stewardship activity, and free exploration time. In the winter, our stewardship activity is brush cutting. We remove native species from the preserve we are on, such as buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, multi flora rose, and oriental bittersweet.
The kids have about 20-30 minutes to physically remove brush with loppers. They have a great time, destroying the enemy and seeing how big of a piece they can remove to compare to their friends.
Sometimes the 1.5 hours of removing brush with three different groups of kids doesn’t feel like enough time. There is always at least one student who wants to come back and do more in their free time, and I’m always feeling the same way. Every time a field trip ends I say to myself “I could totally come back after work and do more,” and of course, I haven’t done so yet. Even if it’s the same for these kids, I still believe we ignited the spark in their hearts, and if they ever get the opportunity to do stewardship again, they’ll remember their first time destroying a giant buckthorn with just a small pair of loppers and their own two hands.