The weather was overcast but beautiful when we arrived at the Tiburon ferry dock last week for our Grade 2 field trip to Angel Island. The quick ride (helped by tail winds) had us landing on Angel Island within eight minutes, where we were met by John from the National Park Services. He shared a little history about the island with us (ask your child why it was once called “Wood Island,” and why there are so many non-native Eucalyptus trees here). We then took a mile-long hike (which included 128 stairs!) to get to the island’s Immigration Center. There are currently no tours being given, but we were able to walk the grounds and read various plaques that pay tribute to the many detainees who were held at this station for days, weeks and even months (from 1910-1940).
We then took some quiet time on a nearby beach to sit and reflect while writing in our journals – ask your child to share a poem they penned or a memory they recorded. After lunch, we continued on the Perimeter Road to Fort McDowell, an abandoned military barrack that we all agreed would make the perfect backdrop for a movie! We made it back to Ayala Cove for a few more minutes of writing - and a surprise sighting of one of only four coyotes that live on the island (ask your child how rangers believe coyotes originally came to the island).
With almost every box on our Nature Scavenger Hunt ticked off, we all agreed it was a wonderful way to end our time on the island. A special thank you goes out to chaperones Steve Carroll, Mike Nettleton, Catherine Garvey, Rossella Rossi, Karin Acosta and Kristina Farber - we could not have had such a relaxing day without the help of these extra adults who took photographs, wrangled students, and generally kept our long line of hikers well cared for.
– Carla Morris, Second Grade Teacher