SFEG provides stewardship opportunities for all ages. Many local teachers place great value on engaging their students in service-learning projects, and hands-on outdoor educational opportunities. Even a one-time experience helps build a sense of understanding and ownership among students and teachers. Students take great pride in improving their world.
With all the testing and performance measures required of schools, a one-time project may be the only time teachers can afford to dedicate to service-learning. SFEG’s education programs are designed to engage students in the wonders of the watershed in which we live, the salmon that depend on these watersheds, and the understanding that healthy watersheds are good for all living things.
Our education programs offer in-depth, science based, hands-on experiential learning about watersheds and salmon habitat restoration to elementary, middle and high school age youth. We currently serve more than 1,000 students annually in Skagit County.
Junior Stream Stewards
Connecting Kids, Watersheds, and Salmon: A Stewardship Program for Middle School Students
Junior Stream Stewards is a year-long SFEG program that offers a unique learning opportunity, enabling students to experience in-depth, hands-on learning about watersheds and salmon habitat restoration. This program coincides with the school year and challenges students to apply classroom lessons with a stream restoration project in their backyard. As SFEG’s signature education program, we currently serve almost 500 students annually at 4 schools. SFEG’s vision is to engage all middle school students in our region.
SFEG staff and resource professionals engage students each month in a different topic related to salmon and watershed health through the Junior Stream Stewards program, which culminates in a service learning project in their community to protect and enhance their local stream, in partnership with local organizations, businesses, and governments. With a combination of 6 classroom visits and 2 field trips (1 Watershed Tour and 1 Service-Learning Project), students learn all about salmon and the stream habitat that supports them by studying water quality, native plants, aquatic insects, the salmon life cycle, and much more.
Thank you Fidalgo Fly Fishers, Tulalip Tribes, Samish Indian Nation, WDFW- ALEA Grant, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Island Adventures, DOE Clean Samish Initiative, Andeavor, Puget Sound Energy, and Skagit County Clean Water Fund for their generous support of Junior Stream Stewards!
Kids in Creeks
Outdoor Stream Explorations for All Ages: A Custom-Designed Program for K-12 Students
The Kids in Creeks program fulfills requests from teachers who request custom-designed opportunities that enables their students to get outside and make a difference in their communities through completion of a service-learning project. Visits from SFEG staff are easily tailored to the fit the grade level and existing curriculum of the class. The program consists of one classroom visit by SFEG staff with presentations, discussion, and activities related to the salmon life cycle, habitat needs, and habitat restoration efforts. Within a few days of the class visit, a service-learning project is held within the school’s watershed if possible and practical. This project can include a tree planting, a stream clean-up, and/or a study of a public area that provides opportunities for stream exploration and ecology lessons.
Salmon in the Classroom
Salmon, Up Close: A Program for Elementary School Students
Salmon in the Classroom is designed to engage students at local elementary schools in learning first hand about the amazing journey of salmon by raising salmon eggs from the Marblemount Fish Hatchery and releasing them into schools’ neighborhood streams. Students receive one classroom visit from SFEG staff to discuss the salmon life cycle and habitat requirements and one field trip to visit Marblemount Fish Hatchery to learn how hatcheries operate in December.
Classrooms then receive 200 Coho salmon eggs in January. Students care for the eggs and feed the young salmon in a 55-gallon aquarium until they are ready to be released into a nearby stream (3-4 months). The process of raising salmon teaches students about the care of juvenile salmon and the maintenance of fish tanks. SFEG staff then lead classes on a field trip in the spring to release salmon fry and learn first-hand about salmon habitat.
Salmon in the Classroom is supported by funding from the Burlington Mid-Day Rotary, Mount Vernon Rotary, the Edison Foundation, Skagit Community Foundation, Fleshman Construction Inspectors, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the WDFW-ALEA Grant.
WILD Salmon Education Trunk
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has an educational tool known as the WILD Salmon Education Trunk available for use by educators and organizations involved in salmon habitat restoration. Included in this trunk are educational materials for all ages and grade levels. Topics include: salmon biology, habitat requirements, factors affecting salmon populations and conservation, habitat restoration, and economic, ecological, and cultural values of salmon. Resources include: a variety of videos, samples of salmon eggs, curriculum guides, project ideas, and many more. Educators may check out the trunk for up to one month at a time and incorporate any part of it into existing curriculum. The salmon trunk is available for pick-up at the SFEG office in Mount Vernon.
Contact us at sfeg @ skagitfisheries.org to inquire about any of the above for your class.