The Bee: S.E.'s "Learning Garden Lab" hosts Earth Day fun
Author: By David F. Ashton
Posted: May 5, 2010

As part of Portland State University Earth Week, capstone program students and their teachers traveled to the PSU Learning Lab Garden, across from Lane Middle School in Inner Southeast Portland, to host a springtime celebration on April 17.

Portland Public Schools owns the property, and PSU leases space to run their learning laboratory, where college students learn to teach kids about gardening.

"We've coordinated the number of booths here today," PSU student and event coordinator Liana Harden said. "We have crafts and food, and our psychology department has come out to demonstrate the positive effects of gardening on kids - helping them learn increased self-sufficiency."

Additionally, informal classes were held, including one by PSU faculty member Judy Bluehorse, who runs the senior capstone program called "Environmental Education through Native American Lenses".

During her talk, Bluehorse reminded people that, years ago, the primary source of medicines was plant-based.

"Traditional uses of native plants are for food, medicine, and ceremony," Bluehorse instructed. "Consider lavender: This essential oil not only smells nice, but it's useful for burns and other injuries. The Douglas Fir is great for coughs; and it's part of the formula for ‘TamiFlu'."

And did we mention food? Guests were offered many kinds and varieties of natural treats - making the event both educational and delicious!