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> July 19, 2006 - Day of Preparation, Fairbanks and it's flowers
post Jul 24 2006, 07:16 AM
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July 19, Wednesday - Fairbanks

I have a day in Fairbanks before I drive to Toolik Field Station tomorrow. I went for a walk in the morning and couldn’t help noticing the flower beds here at the Wedgewood Resort. They are beautiful beds and I am very jealous of them. They would look wonderful in Carlisle’s Outdoor Learning Center.

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Fairbanks has a relatively short growing season and makes do with only 95 frost-free days a year. However, due to the warmer temperatures of the area, and the extended daylight hours many experts consider Fairbanks to have the greatest agricultural potential in the state.

The largest cabbage that was grown in this garden last year tipped the scales at over 53 pounds (that’s a lot of cole-slaw)!

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This cabbage was over four feet wide!

The groundskeepers at Wedgewood resort are quick to react when they have “moose sightings”—moose love cabbage and can quickly destroy an entire garden!

Everywhere I turned around Fairbanks, I saw a pinkish-purple flower growing wild. It is called a Fireweed. It is said that when the Fireweed bloom, there are six weeks till winter starts.

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Later in the morning I went to the ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.) office to refresh my computer skills before I begin my expedition.

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ARCUS was formed in 1988 as a nonprofit member consortium of educational and scientific institutions that have a substantial commitment to arctic research. ARCUS offers educational opportunities and information resources to support advancement of knowledge and understanding of the Arctic. One of their programs is TREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) which pairs K-12 teachers with researcher to participate in arctic field projects. Hence, the reason that I am here. Thanks ARCUS!

My day ended with a quick trip to the store to purchase food and water for the long time to Toolik Field Station tomorrow.

***Alaskans learn never to tell their children during the summer months "Be home by dark"! They won't see them again till the fall.
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