Environmental Discovery Program
The Environmental Discovery Program is
a hands-on, classroom and field-based environmental education program that brings
students from Seattle and
surrounding areas to Oxbow Organic Farm in the Snoqualmie Valley in eastern King County. The Oxbow Farm
property, on the Snoqualmie River between the towns of Carnation and Duvall, includes wetlands, upland
forest, ponds, river shoreline, and Oxbow Lake. a functional off-channel slough
connected to the main stem of the Snoqualmie
River.The EDP program consists of a pre-field trip classroom visit, a full day field trip to Oxbow
Farm, and a follow-up
Teachers can tailor their students’ experience by selecting any
combination of the EDP’s five field-trip
lesson modules – Plant Identification, Animal Lives, The Journey Home, Water
Quality, and Discovery Skills. The EDP is
about “discovering” the outdoors and awakening each child’s appreciation for
the natural environment. Students take advantage of the wonderful outdoor setting to
learn about native plants and animals, to explore their surroundings on guided
nature hikes, and to tune into things they might not otherwise notice.
The classroom visits help to prepare students for the field
trip and to build upon the lessons they learned in the field. In the first
classroom visit, students are introduced to new concepts, vocabulary, field-guide use, and the salmon life cycle. During the follow-up classroom visit,
students analyze the water-quality data they collected in the field, participate in a
wetland related activity, and create a picture, poem, or story about
Increasing Awareness, Commitment, & Involvement
Developed by Stewardship Partners as a pilot project in fall 2002, the EDP served four 4th and 5th grade classes. Wild Fish Conservancy has been coordinating the program since 2003, expanding to reach more students in ten classes during the fall semester and ten classes in the spring. During the 2006-2007 school year, nearly 400 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students participated in EDP. In the current funding structure, the Environmental Discovery Program is offered free of charge to participating schools.
The Environmental Discovery Program introduces students to
the wonders of the outdoors and the importance of conservation and
restoration. We believe that field-based
education and direct experience with the natural world will increase youth
awareness, commitment, and involvement in pressing environmental issues.
To learn about participating in EDP or get more information about the EDP curriculum or other Wild Fish Conservancy education programs, contact Wild Fish Conservancy Education Coordinator Casey Ralston or call 425/7881167.