Monday, June 25, 2018

Busy Busy Spring and Summer in Chelan County

 My position of Natural Resource Education Coordinator with Cascadia means that I get to help to coordinate, organize and facilitate many of our environmental education programs that we provide within Chelan County. We have taught formal lessons to more than 2,479 K-12 students in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan County. We have taught programs on soil health and conservation, wildfires and forest ecology, agriculture in Washington, and stream health just to name a few.

Spring with Cascadia Conservation District has become my new favorite season. It is filled with a number of amazing events and hands on lessons in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. I have gotten the chance to teach in the shadows of mountains and along the banks of raging rivers, but most importantly the students have gotten out of the classroom and have been able to experience all of this as well. Seeing the excitement in students that have never been to these areas or watching them develop a new interest and passion for conservation is the most rewarding experience for me.

In early May we hosted the 25th successful Kids in the Creek program at the Entiat Fish Hatchery. All the planning and coordinating that went into preparing for this program paid off when 240 high school students were able to come out to the hatchery for our field days.
Students Collecting Samples from the Pond at the Entiat Fish Hatchery
 We worked with a number of partner organizations such as US Fish & Wildlife, Forest Service, the City of Wenatchee, Chelan Co. PUD, and Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group to put this program together. With 40 volunteers from all of these organizations, and many more, we were able to provide a vast network of professionals for the students to learn from. The students were able to get a hands on, real life look into field work and also various professions within the conservation field at six different field stations. They learned about riparian zones, water quality, stream habitat, invertebrates, watersheds, water flow and so many more concepts and ideas taught by local resource specialists. By the end of the day, a number of students are exhausted but still using every last minute to ask the station leads more questions about everything from the material they just learned to specifics on their careers and jobs.

Cascadia is an organization I would  figuratively
and literally climb a mountain for!!
      During my service with Cascadia Conservation District, I have learned a great deal about conservation and natural resource management, teaching and how to share my passion for stewardship with others in an effective way, but I have also learned a great deal about myself and the skills that I possess. This service has given me the foundation for a career in the conservation world that I cannot wait to contribute further to.

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