img_1335My school owns a piece of land on the Santa Fe river, which we call the Preserve. Every Thursday the 7th and the 8th graders spend half a day each to work on killing nonnative plants, bringing back native plants, measuring stream flow and counting fish population. Part of going to the Preserve is getting muddy and wet of walking through the Santa Fe river. Even though we wear boots, in some places it is so deep that the water gets at least up to your hips. Some girls said that they fell in once or twice because the silt they stood on was too slippery.

The 6th grade never went to the Preserve. So the 8th worked on a surprise for weeks that would introduce us to it. One Thursday afternoon the 6th and 8th went there. Shortly before that we had read “The Wizard of Oz”. All 8th graders including my sister Hannah dressed up as one of the characters of the story. We arrived there and were split in 4 groups. Each group had to either locate the lion, the woodcutter, the scarecrow or Glinda the good witch using a compass. I was in the group to find Glinda. We found her and together we saved Dorothy’s dog Toto from the evil flying monkey (my sister), built a home for it and after a lot of confusion from Glinda we finally arrived at the Emerald City. The two wizards : O and Z said that before they could send us home we had to kill the evil witch and her monkeys. All 4 groups did it together and instead of “killing” them, we simply splashed them witimg_2475h water until their costumes and make-up were totally ruined. That was how the 8th graders introduced us to the Preserve!

From May 14 through 17 the 8th graders went on a trip. So the 6th and 7th grade went to the preserve for an entire day. The 7th graders showed us what we would be doing next year and the teachers helped  them do their new jobs. After lunch my friends and I walked through the river in our boots and caught fish. When we caught them we first wrote down  their gender, length and specie before putting them back. Then we could just hang out before driving back to school.

I love the Preserve and I wish I could be there next year when all the fun really begins.