Watershed Watchers 2014 - 2015
The Watershed Watchers program has been providing a unique outdoor educational experience to local school children for more than a decade. Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation has hosted the program at the Twisp Ponds Discover Center since 2007. In 2014, the program expanded to include the Middle Methow (M2) WDFW Floodplain project area off of Old Twisp Highway.
Watershed Watchers continued its long history of high quality riparian restoration education with four programs during the Fall 2014 - Spring 2015 season. An additional two programs are scheduled for September 2015. These programs are an important outreach tool in connecting our communities with ongoing watershed restoration efforts.
Watershed Watchers worked with 12 students from the Methow Valley School District Independent Learning Center at the WDFW Floodplain restoration project. Students worked on identification techniques and established growth and survival plots.
In June, Watershed Watchers hosted students from three classrooms at Virginia Granger Elementary School in Okanogan at the Twisp Ponds. The 75 students explored the Discovery Trail, practiced riparian plant identification and explored the cultural uses of native plants.
The 3rd grade and Kindergarten classes from Methow Valley elementary School also participated in Watershed Watchers in June. The 3rd grade visited the WDFW Floodplain project and worked with riparian planting, watershed planning, native/non-native species and riparian identification. At Twisp Ponds, the kindergarten group studied aquatic systems, practiced plant Spanish, planted 50 trees, and explored the Discovery Trail.
In the Fall 2014 - Spring 2015 programs, Watershed Watchers hosted 167 students, 8 teachers, and 21 parent volunteers. The students planted 140 riparian trees.
At the sites, Watershed Watchers program lead Robert Crandall (Methow Natives), Brian Fisher (Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation), Kirsten Kirkby (Yakama Nation Fisheries), Teresa Fish (Yakama Nation Fisheries), Eric Portmann (Methow Natives), Joe McKay (Methow Natives), Anna Sample (WDFW), and Bruce Morrison (Methow Arts) staffed activity stations that focused in on specific aspects of floodplain ecology.
A key component of the Watershed Watchers program is to provide students with hands-on science experience using the outdoors as a classroom. We look forward to further development and integration of Watershed Watchers into local school curriculums, and to further building outdoor education in the Methow Valley.
Want to see more? Click here for Watershed Watchers from spring 2014.