The Nisqually River Education Project, South Sound GREEN and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium are offering the first ever Climate Resiliency Fellows. This program aims to build a dynamic community of engaged teachers committed to engaging their students in learning about and taking action in local climate change issues and climate resiliency projects. The Fellows program is offered as a part of a 3 year, environmental literacy program supported by NOAA. Teachers in the program meet quarterly to receive curriculum support and brainstorm ideas for action projects that address local issues. Simpson Elementary School teacher Erica Pearson and her students have been continuing their water quality monitoring, as well as gaining a better understanding of the overall ecology of our watershed. Here is Erica’s second blog post; thanks for all you do, Fellows!
In February, we water quality tested at Vance Creek in Elma. My students were super engaged in the testing and were looking forward to seeing our results. They were excited to see which of them would have the opportunity to attend Student Congress at Centralia College. Ten students had the fantastic opportunity to attend Student Congress and share out the State of Our River, The Chehalis. They also had opportunity to attend two classes ranging from Salmon Dissection, Learning about Big Cats, Wolves, Plant/Nature ID and Art, Freshwater Mussels, etc. Kids learned a ton at their classes and also got to learn about the State of other rivers.
In class we also tied erosion and building stream tables in with our water testing. We looked for signs of erosion and learned more about the riparian corridor of our site.
Students noticed a fallen tree and were excited to know that even know the tree is not providing as much shade as it was, it is still a huge benefit to the stream. Our class also published a book called Endangered, Threatened or Species of Concern. Each student researched their species and wrote a page from the animal’s perspective and drew an illustration of the species and its habitat. Families were able to purchase a copy of the book!