Our den worked a little on Bears Elective 15: Soil and Water conservation. As I gathered information, I have to give a shout out to Pack 152 www.pack152.net – they have a lot of helpful information on their site!
a. Dig a hole or find an excavation project and describe the different layers of soil you see and feel. (Do not enter an excavation area alone or without permission.) This page has some information on the different types of soil:
b. Explore three kinds of earth by conducting a soil experiment. http://www.pack152.net/BearDen/Achievements/ArrowPoints/SoilExperiments.php
c. Visit a burned-out forest or prairie area, or a slide area, with your den or your family. Talk to a soil and water conservation officer or forest ranger about how the area will be planted and cared for so that it will grow to be the way it was before the fire or slide
This site has some fire resistant plants
d. What is erosion? Find out the kinds of grasses, trees, or ground cover you should plant in your area to help limit erosion.
I called a local master gardener to ask for plant ideas. In the pacific NW:
Mat root systems
Plant examples: Salal, Ferns, Snow berry, Currants, kinnickkinnick, montia
Good river bank tree – Willow
Nothing invasive or noxious – no ivy or vinca
e. As a den, visit a lake, stream, river, or ocean (whichever is nearest where you live). Plan and do a den project to help clean up this important source of water. Name four kinds of water pollution.
Kinds of Water Pollution:
Clean up local creek/falls
Mark storm drains
this link is for our local water program – it has other ideas, too!
Elective 15 is a good one to complete, besides learning important information, it helps your son earn those little arrows that you then must somehow attach to his uniform, and it is part of the World Conservation Award.