Enchanted Ecosystem Blog


    Girls around bird bath In our Enchanted Ecosystem blog learn how students are studying the natural world around them.  Read their observations about the plants, animals, and insects they see, and follow along as they learn how these living organisms interact with each other and their environment. 

    • How does energy enter the system? 
    • What happens to organic and inorganic matter? 
    • What role do microbes play? 
    • What role do people play?

    The name was created by a group of third graders. We chose enchanted because the area will be full of delight, charm, and appeal. A place to captivate caring and an appreciation for nature. Ecosystem was chosen because we will study the living and non-living things in the area and how the two interact. Also, we have to keep the area attractive and groomed so it will not be a natural habitat but a fun and interesting place to enjoy, care for, and learn about the environment.

    Look for upcoming posts and field reports by our budding naturalists as they study the enchanted ecosystem of our school grounds.




  • Green Team Mentors  
    Sue Abrahamse, John Del Prete, Bobbie Cane, Glenda Jackson, and Camie Beach
    Green Team Mentors 2018-2019
  • Wildlife Release: Predators

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 9/27/2019

    Box of toads

    Toads of Washington

    Boy holding toad  Boy with toad  Toad


    Today we introduced four Western Toads to the ecosystem. They were placed in the hedges near the bird bath.  Hopefully, the toads will help solve the snail problem and thrive. 

    We also made the area a little moist so the toads don't dry out. We got slugs and snails for the toads to eat.  

    Toads are nocturnal amphibians so they sleep during the day and move around at night. We may not see them but we are sure they will love the Enchanted Ecosystem because there are plenty of slugs and snails to eat!  


    See more in Facebook.

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  • Welcome Back 2019-2020

    Posted by John Delprete on 9/13/2019

    Bee on sunflower Devin and Rashad's snapshot


    The birds and kids are back! The plants we planted to help the wildlife are growing in the Enchanted Ecosystem. There are also brand new mushrooms and boy are they big. The sunflowers are huge and as tall as the stump! They are still growing bigger and blooming. Sadly the snails are getting to a few of the sunflowers plants and other plants. Maybe we should work on attracting some predators in the ecosystem.The sunflowers near the gray water fountain have disappeared but the ones by the classrooms are still alive. 

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  • Fledgling Sighting

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 6/25/2019

    Baby robin We've spied a baby robin outside one of the windows.  The nest is in an evergreen and has at least one other baby in it.  Dad is keeping careful watch from close by and is doing a good job bringing back food to his babies.  


    This little one looks a bit young to do much more than flutter, but soon it will be on the way to adventures much bigger than exploring the rhododendron bush next door.



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  • Newcomer to the Enchanted Ecosystem

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 6/21/2019

    Little Brown Bat With all of the birds, insects and amphibians visiting the Enchanted Ecosystem, we're thrilled to observe our first mammal -- this little guy was spied in the eaves, probably drawn by the insects.


    Did you know that one bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour?  And each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night.


    This is probably a little brown bat, one of the most common species found in Washington.  We're not sure -- we didn't get too close and left it soundly sleeping in preparation for the big night of bug-eating ahead.  Find out more about bats in Washington State online from the WA Department of FIsh and Wildlife.

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  • The Weekly Snapshot

    Posted by John Delprete on 6/10/2019

    Rashad, Henry, and Devin’s Observations


    Monday Normal Healthy plants and sunflowers daily birds also



    A black bird 4 chestnut backed chickadees and 1 male house wren and 2 female house wrens

    Two black hummingbirds


    Wednesday we saw a chestnut,Backed chickadee and some other animals


    Thursday We saw a male and female purple finches and 4 chestnut finches and nests

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  • It's From the Birds

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 6/6/2019

    Hummingbird Students in Mrs. Duarte's class have noticed that the hummingbirds in the Enchanted Ecosystem spend a lot of time right outside their classroom window and even seem to be paying attention to what is going on inside.


    The students must be right, and the hummingbirds are learning!  Not only can they now read and write, but they also know that CHE Cubs are expected to be respectful, responsible, safe and kind and they've started to give out Super Cub Awards!


    Here's the first recipient, hearing his name during the morning announcements and eating at the awards table.


    Boy hearing name on announcments

    Boy at the Super Cub Lunch Table

    Super Cub Award from hummingbird



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  • The Weekly Snapshot

    Posted by John Delprete on 5/31/2019

    Rashad, Henry, and Devin’s daily Enchanted Ecosystem Snapshot


    Tuesday We all saw a big brown spider.


    Wednesday We saw a house sparrow and a house wren.


    Thursday Normal animals like birds and healthy plants.


    Friday We saw a butterfly and a house finch and some other birds.


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  • Lawnmower

    Posted by John Delprete on 5/28/2019

    We purchased a reel mower for the Enchanted Ecosystem for the following reasons.


    Reel mowers are safer than power mowers which is important because 75,000 Americans, 10,000 of them children, are injured in lawn mowing accidents each year.


    Reel mowers are cheaper. Reel mowers cost about $99.99 plus tax. Power mowers cost about $200 for a cheap one and much more for higher quality.


    Reel mowers don’t emit pollution. Power mowers emit pollution.


    Reel mowers are quiet. You can mow a lawn anytime you want but with power mowers you can't because they can be loud.                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Reel mowers are simple compared to power mowers and should last at least up to eight to ten years with very little maintenance and care.


     Written by Aubrey Bower and Paisley Sterling

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  • Students build new flower bed.

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 5/28/2019

    The Enchanted Ecosystem experienced a lot of activity recently as students put Part 2 of the stump beautification plan into action.


    Thanks to a grant from Safeway, we worked with the folks at Mailliards Landing Nursery who delivered 15 yards of dirt and 208 cement blocks to construct a wildflower bed around the old stump that now features occupied birdhouses.


    Multiple classes got into the act, stacking over a pallet's-worth of blocks into a giant circle, three blocks high, and then filling the area with rich, black topsoil.  The flower-seed-mix planted includes wildflowers to draw butterflies, beneficial insects, and hummingbirds.


    A big "thank you" is due to the classes of: Mrs. Ching, Mr. Del Prete, Mrs. Mathews, Mr. O'Toole, Mrs. Ward, and Miss Williamson -- their hard work put this bed into place within the course of a single day!!


    We can't wait to see how our garden grows!



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  • Hosting the Green Ribbon District Award Ceremony

    Posted by Annette Stillwell on 4/29/2019

    California Casualty rep presenting award to Dr. Gibbon We were proud to host the May 26th ceremony in which Superintendent Lance Gibbon and OSPI representative Elizabeth Schmitz announced that Oak Harbor is now an OSPI Washington Green Ribbon School District.


    Dr. Gibbon accepted a plaque and a check for $1250 from Washington Green Ribbon Sponsor, California Casualty, and spoke about how the many schools and district departments have worked together to bring sustainable education and practices to our students, facilities and grounds.


    Before the ceremony, our third and fourth grade Green Team students gave visitors a tour of the grounds to highlight the rain garden, the Enchanted Ecosystem with its rain barrel, birdbaths, hummingbird feeders, and birdhouses -- many of which are inhabited.  Highlights of the tour included finding a frog in the Enchanted Ecosystem, listening to the baby birds chirping from one of the nests, and snacking on edible flowers in the garden.


    Boy and Girl with OSPI Representative We hope to hear the results of whether we've been awarded the  U.S. Department of Education Green Ribben Schools Award at the national level later in May.  Until then, we'll continue growing plants, composting our waste, and observing the wildlife visiting our green campus.


    Students giving tour of campus

    Look for more photos on Facebook.

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