Two years ago the Tumalo Irrigation District asked Erick Beck, a teacher at Realms Middle School in Bend, if a class could help create informational kiosks to place along the Deschutes River.
Two years later, the displays are complete, thanks to some hard work and research from the students.
Teague Dupras was an eighth grader at realms middle school when he started working on a kiosk project for the First Street Rapids in Bend.
“I honed in on reparian vegetation and basically overall stream health,” said Dupras, now a sophomore at Summit HIgh.
He and his classmates have taken many field trips to Tumalo Creek and the Deschutes River to research and collect data on water quality, habitat and vegetation.
All the info was needed to create 12 new informational kiosk along the Deschutes River Trail, highlighting the river’s environment and history.
“It was really fun for me to go outside during school and have this be a part of my middle school experience,” said Becky Knight, a sophomore at Summit.
It was a two-year project that’s finally complete.
“It’s amazing to see that all of this work and effort has paid off,” Dupras said.
Community members came together today at the park to see the displays and celebrate the students’ hard work.
“A lot of school projects when you’re finished with it it goes in a box somewhere or it goes somewhere on your wall,” Knight said. “But this is something that we created for everyone to enjoy. I think it’s cool it’s going to be here for a really long time.”
Eric Beck helped facilitate the project with another teacher, Karen Holm. He says the lessons the students learned along the way will stay with them more than if they’d learned them in a classroom.
“A lot of us we don’t remember the specific facts we learned in middle school,” Beck said. “A lot of our middle school memories aren’t that exact content. But when you can get out and interact with it, you come away with an understanding that doesn’t really go away.”