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Volunteers sought for Mary Olson Farm tours

Churning butter at Olson Farm during a tour last fall are first-graders, from the left: Cameron Jalbert, 6, Natalia Macias, 6, and Eduardo Pachero-Segura, 6. - Reporter photo
Churning butter at Olson Farm during a tour last fall are first-graders, from the left: Cameron Jalbert, 6, Natalia Macias, 6, and Eduardo Pachero-Segura, 6.
— image credit: Reporter photo

Volunteers are needed to help conduct tours for school field trips in the fall at historic Mary Olson Farm.

The White River Valley Museum will begin its second full run of educational programming at the unique 60-acre farmstead that dates from 1879 and is located on a beautiful, wooded site along the Green River in Auburn. The farm presents an intact assembly of rural buildings, a site shaped by agriculture and stream ecology with indigenous salmon runs.

Volunteers will be assigned one teaching station for the duration of the tour. Each volunteer is asked to commit to a minimum of six hours per month.

The program plans to provide tours for every student, grades 1-6, in the Auburn School District, September through December.

For first-graders, the program will focus on life on a farm, where food comes from and how people are connected to the food they eat. Activities will include: pressing apple cider in the orchard; making butter in the barn; planting seeds in the garden; and feeding chickens in the chicken coop.

For sixth-graders, the program will center on ecology, focusing on salmon and its life cycles. Activity stations will include: weaving a native fish trap in the barn;

native plant identification on the bank of Olson Creek; water testing and salmon habitat observation in the creek; and an interactive game based on the migration of salmon from streams to the ocean and back again.

The 90-minute tours will invite groups of approximately 15 students, rotating to each of the four stations.

Auburn Rotary and the Auburn Soroptomists generously have sponsored the Olson Farm field trips.

Two volunteer training sessions are planned for September. Volunteers must be able to walk across slightly hilly and uneven terrain and be able to lift 15 pounds.

For more information or to sign up, please contact the museum's Tara McCauley at 253-288-7439 or tmccauley@auburnwa.gov.

For additional information, please visit v.

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