Environmental Restoration in Oregon

This program provides opportunities for education about ecosystems and the need for environmental restoration. Best of all, these lessons will be imparted through direct, hands-on experience in several of Oregon’s biologically diverse regions. The camaraderie and fellowship of overcoming physical challenges through teamwork will provide many opportunities for growth seldom found inside a traditional classroom.
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
2022 Travel Program - Environmental Restoration in Oregon
The cornerstone of this program is the Elana Gold '93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project. Established in 1993 through the Catlin Gabel School, the trip carries out land restoration projects in the Barlow Ranger District on Mt. Hood National Forest. Catlin Gabel students have contributed over 15,000 hours of labor in areas that were severely degraded by a century of cattle overgrazing, severe wildfire, and intensive salvage logging. The goal is to increase habitat for fish and other wildlife, decrease erosion, improve stream water-quality, and thin timber to reduce the risk of fire. Students build fences to exclude cattle and vehicles from sensitive wetland areas, install native plants along stream banks to shade and cool streams, and add woody debris to streams for fish and other wildlife habitat. Students will be working in different teams each day in this outdoor Harkness classroom. Each team will need to follow a forest ranger’s directive to safely accomplish their task using tools like hand screws, mallets and spikes, barbed-wire fence tighteners, and loppers. Roles and responsibilities may change throughout the day. Team members will be holding each other accountable as they communicate and problem solve.
In addition to joining Catlin Gabel students on the Elana Gold Project, the Lawrenceville group will venture to other sites where ecosystem restoration is taking place. At several stops along the Oregon Coast, we will view and discuss marine reserves in coastal waters. The group will meet with members of the Elakha (a Chinook trading language word for sea otter) Alliance near Newport, OR to view efforts of sea otter reintroduction. Another stop will be Springboard Forestry near Astoria, Oregon to learn about sustainable forestry, go through the process of turning a tree into lumber, and see what habitat restoration looks like. Along the way, the program will take in the scenic beauty of Oregon, including Mt. Hood, the 10 Falls Hike at Silver Falls State Park, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Oregon Coast. Each night, students will meet to discuss highlights from the day and create journal entries.
We will stay at Nanitch Lodge on Mount Hood for the duration of the Elana Gold Project, and hotel/Airbnb accommodations for the remainder of the trip.

Sign-Up Instructions

Participation for all Lawrenceville Harkness Travel Programs is dependent upon a review of student applications, Head of House/Advisor recommendations, medical fitness for participation, and financial and disciplinary standing. Seniority and gender balance is also considered in the selection process.

Application to this program is not considered complete until both of the following items have been submitted:
Head of House/Day Advisor Recommendation must be completed and submitted to Louise Wright by Monday, November 1, 2021.
Application Survey must be completed by Monday, November 1, 2021.


July 22 - August 3, 2022



*Includes all ground transportation, flights, meals, accommodations, and any required non-routine vaccines. Families will receive a list of all MANDATORY vaccines that are required.

All travelers must be up-to-date on routine vaccines. Families will be charged for any trip related routine vaccines administered on campus. If the participant has received any of the mandatory vaccines, documentation must be provided to the Health & Wellness Center no later than December 13.

Program Leaders

Doug Piper
Mathematics Teacher
Julie Mellor
Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Target Student Population

This trip is open to II-IV Formers who have an interest in biology and/or are enrolled in Environmental Science. Students must be able to work in warm temperatures wearing protective clothing and gear. Additionally, maturity and fitness will be used in the selection process to create the safest and most effective work teams. All participants will attend regular spring term orientation meetings.

Student Expectations

The temperature range on this program will be wide, from potential lows of 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night to highs of 95 degrees during the workdays.

Students will be required to carry portions of buck and pole fence (in pairs), weighing as much as 50 lbs. Hard hats and gloves will be provided. We will also be using mallets, spikes and sharp tools. Extra care must be taken by everyone.

Pre-Trip Work

There will be regular meetings and homework during the Spring term to prepare for the program.