Clean Halloween

During the month of October, you are challenged to participate a different kind of trick-or-treating. Put together a team of no more than 10 people and compete to collect the most trash by October 31! ORK will provide a prize to the team who collects the most trash (by weight).


  • Make note of the location, take a photo, weigh total trash and/or recycling collected per team/individual, and send it in to
  • Trash collection must be conducted on public lands or have permission from private landowners/river landings.
  • Each team is responsible for supplying their own litter collection supplies.
  • Each team is responsible for discarding the trash/recycling collected. BONUS: Email a picture of any repurposed item or sustainable solution.
  • Teams are encouraged to include friends/family members within your “COVID bubble,” i.e. not strangers -or- use masks and/or social distancing.

Creativity is encouraged with team name and Halloween or fall costumes (must be family friendly and appropriate for outdoor activities). Team Trash Panda, anyone?

Forest Ecology

Pinus longifolia. Public domain. Aylmer Bourke Lambert. 1803.

Activity is open to all ages and is suitable for a homeschool activity for 3-7 grade with guidance for younger grades using Georgia Performance Standards/Standards of Excellence with Science, Visual Arts & Language Arts.

Extra: Activity can be done in combination with Project Learning Tree activity “We All Need Trees” which can be adapted for PreK-6 grade in Science, Visual Arts & Language Arts.


Adaptation – How a species changes over time to help it survive in its environment
Canopy – Tallest trees in a forest; also includes animals living in that level
Decomposition – The breakdown process of organic matter through decay, rotting, animal feces
Ecology – The study of relationships between organisms and their environment
Habitat – The environment in which a species typically lives and eats
Pioneer Species – The first species to enter a new habitat
Succession – Change in different species and their community over time
Symbiosis – A biological relationship between two species
Understory – Trees and plants that live below the main canopy level of a forest

Bald cypress samples


Go outside and find a tree in your backyard, school playground, community park, etc. Once you pick your tree, look at the different characteristics (leaf shape, size, color; bark; height, trunk width; etc.) and identify your tree. 

Once you identify your tree, take note of its habitat. Does it like shade or sun? Does it grow near the water? Is it the tallest tree around or is it in the understory? Do you notice any animals or insects on, or around, your tree? Write down as many details about your tree’s habitat as you can. Take some photos or make a drawing / painting / collage of your tree. 

Bald cypress botanical drawing. Louisiana Digital Library.

Next, do some research (computer or library) to find out more about your tree. Write a short story about your tree and include everything you saw and read about it. Include a picture of your tree or your artistic representation and send it to us:

One submission will be chosen to be featured on our social media!

If you need help with identifying your tree for this activity:

Arbor Day tree identification | LeafSnap App

or email a photo of your tree or leaf to


Kiss The Ground: Free Educational Version

A revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians band together in a global movement of “Regenerative Agriculture” that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. The movie shows what is possible and offers a positive outlook on the future. 

Teachers and educators can watch a free 45-minute-long Educational Version of the Kiss the Ground movie. 

Click here and use password: school

Watch the trailer.


Water Conservation

Tips and Tricks

Fresh water is a finite resource. In addition to keeping our waterways clean, we also try to reduce water usage in general. Companies, businesses, and municipalities all have a responsibility to minimize their water consumption, but there are also a number of ways someone can conserve water in everyday ways. 

  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
  • Be sure to repair any leaks or dripping faucets.
  • Only water gardens or lawns during the cool morning or evening hours. 
  • Only wash full loads of laundry.
Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2019

During the month of July, try out different ways to reduce your water use. By July 31st,  we encourage you to submit 3 new ideas to or tag us on social media to inspire others to conserve water around their home.

Here is one of ours: “I keep an empty pitcher next to the kitchen sink and I pour any leftover water — from drinking cups, the tea kettle, boiled noodles, etc. — into it and use that to water my indoor and outdoor plants.” -Melanie, ORK Staff

Twist Tie & Tie Dye

Do you ever wonder what happens to the small trash from food or other product packaging after it has been thrown in the trash? Some ends up in landfills and depending what it’s made from, it may or may not break down. Some ends up in our waterways which is a problem for the plants, animals and people.

Instead of throwing these things away, try reusing them. Start saving these packaging materials next time you buy groceries, farmers market items, or online shopping.


  • Twist ties from produce, bread, etc.
  • Rubber bands from produce, packaging, etc.
  • Bread clips
  • Plastic bags (without vents or holes)
  • Fruits & veggies if tie-dying.  Suggestions: coffee grounds, turmeric powder, beets, avocado pits, purple cabbage, spinach & carrot tops

How to Reuse:

  • Twist ties make great organizers for electrical cords. Bind gently to not kink the cords.
  • Rubber bands can be used for so many things around the house, it’s good to just have a jar of them around…or you can tie dye with them!
  • Bread clips make a wonderful tiny palate for small art. Use fine point sharpies to design and then glue them onto a surface. See ideas for unique greeting cards, holiday ornaments, fridge magnets and more! 
  • Small plastic bags are great for picking up pet waste without having to buy specific bags! If you don’t have a dog, save them and re-gift them to someone who does or recycle them – check local guidelines for recycling.
Shirt dyed with tumeric


Instead of putting fruit and vegetable waste straight in the trash or compost, save it in the fridge until you’re ready to tie dye-naturally. You can use many veggies or scraps but they all have varying degrees of pigment.

To start out, try beets or turmeric as they have a naturally stronger pigment. Some of the colors others make might even surprise you!

Use gloves when handling dyes, even though they are natural. Do not dry in the sunlight as they will fade and only wash as needed with a mild detergent and cold water.

  • Turmeric – yellow (be careful as this will stain many surfaces)
  • Beets – red
  • Purple cabbage – red/pink
  • Avocado pits – light pink (use more than one)
  • Spinach, carrot tops – green/yellow 

More resources for natural tie dye with fruits and veggies

We’d love to see your dyeing skills! Email your photos to  or tag us on social media.