The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership's Outdoor Education Program gets students living in communities along the lower Columbia River outside to learn and explore. We start off by visiting the kids' classroom and delivering three hands-on lessons on an array of watershed ecology subjects, introducing them to healthy watersheds, native and invasive species, and the unique role we humans play in living systems. After the lessons, we bring students outside for a half day field trip at a local natural area. Students get to apply their lessons on an exploration hike or scavenger hunt, practice birding, and see wildlife up close. Students also paddle on-water in our safe, sturdy Big Canoes--many for the first time. Paddling gives students a unique perspective to view birds and identify watershed features they learned about in the classroom.
For this project, we will work with 100 - 4th graders at Grass Valley Elementary in Camas, Washington, and take them to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.