During this time of uncertainty, the West Seattle Bee Garden is also in a period of transition. Our volunteers who previously hosted field trips with local students are no longer available, and we’re seeking new recruits! The garden was created with the goal of educating Seattle residents about our ecosystems and importance of pollination, and we hope to keep our educational reach as strong as possible!
The WSBG hosted VERY limited groups in 2020 during the pandemic, and we foresee continued limited gathering in 2021. With information to guide safe decision making, we think hosting some groups outdoors is possible. Of course masks and social distancing will be required.
Since its opening in 2013, the garden has historically hosted 20-40 field trips per year, with primarily elementary-school-aged groups – typically on weekday mornings between 10 am and noon (timing is flexible). Field trips usually start with a 15-minute talk, followed by looking at the bees – although all ideas for creating educational experiences are welcome. Opening the hives has historically been included during field trips (and is admittedly a highlight), but this step is not required. Spare beehive components, large photos of bees, and information to learn the presentation material are also available. The adjacent pollination garden and P-Patch create wonderful opportunities to learn about plants, as well as their symbiotic relationship with bees. The WSBG is part of Commons Park in the High Point Neighborhood – the park provides a playground and large green space for students to play and eat lunch.
I am personally saddened by my inability to host field trips any more, due to a change in my work schedule. Witnessing the excitement and awe of children learning routinely brought joy to my days. On occasion I had the pleasure of witnessing local children return to the garden, and enthusiastically teach their parents what they had learned during a recent field trip. It is truly a rewarding experience.
We’re hoping to recruit volunteers who can meet with groups interested in coming to learn. I will continue to field email requests from teachers and group leaders, and help facilitate. The WSBG does not charge for field trips because we want to make access to education available to all. We do encourage donations from those able to donate. It is important for volunteers to reliably meet with groups at the coordinated times, as much effort and expense (buses) are utilized to organize and transport students.
More information is available on our website: westseattlebeegarden.com. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any interest or questions.
West Seattle, Washington