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, Island Adventures, DOE Clean Samish Initiative, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Skagit County Clean Water Fund , and Mountaineers Foundation 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.
Currently Accepting New Classes for 2016-2017 School Year
SFEG’s Kids in Creeks program is supported by funding from Soroptimist International of Anacortes, Shell Puget Sound Refinery, Tesoro Refinery, the Skagit County Clean Water Fund, and the Skagit Community Foundation.
Kids in Creeks Mountain School
Skagit Watershed from the Mountains to the Sea: A Program for 5th Grade Classes Participating in Mountain School
In collaboration with North Cascade institute Mountain School, SFEG offers an option to opt out of the final classroom visit with the NCI staff. Instead, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group will have one classroom visit connecting the consents taught at Mountain School with their local watershed. The students will then participate with SFEG and NCI staff on a stewardship field trip close to their school. During this field trip the students will enhance their public riparian areas by removing invasive species, planting native trees and shrubs, and various other riparian enhancement projects. These projects allow students to feel a greater sense of place with their local environment.
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.
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.