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May Roberts SOLV

Cheri Clausen, the Media-Technology-TAG (Talented and Gifted) specialist at May Roberts Elementary, wanted to give students the chance to do a service learning type of project. After learning about "SOLV" - Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism - from workshop presenter Susan Abravanel, Clausen was set. SOLV has its roots in Oregon's statewide beach clean up days. The effort has been broadened to include clean-up beyond the beaches.

"I decided we would adopt Beck-Kiwanis Park, since it is in our own neighborhood," Clausen said. "I wanted the kids to take ownership by collecting litter, and I took the opportunity to begin teaching them about noxious weeds."

Clausen said she kept this year's activity simple, but hopes to expand upon it. Community members from different local agencies helped to make sure both teachers and students could correctly identify any noxious weeds they might encounter.

"I was impressed with our students' interest in identifying the weeds and their concern about ridding the park of their threat," Clausen said, noting she plans to follow the activity with a video conference call to weed experts.

Ontario Public Schools thanks those who provided information and/or resources such as weed identification books, T-shirts for chaperones, litter bags, and gloves: DeVon Knutson, Malheur Co. Extension; Gary Page, Malheur Co. Weed Control; and Kathy Pratt, Soil & Water Conservation District. Clausen noted that some of the resources were provided with funds from Oregon's personalized license plates and the Oregon Lottery.