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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 classroom visit.

Field-Based LearningWaterQuality

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.

Classroom Learning

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 their experience.

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 semesterOxbow 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 Participate

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.

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