Local students get hands-on experience restoring watershed

Habitat Support Fund creates educational opportunities

Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors works with students from local elementary and high schools to perform hands-on service and science learning at three sites in the lower Clackamas Watershed.

Students are given the chance to learn about the importance of healthy watersheds while assessing sites, removing invasive vegetation, installing and maintaining native trees and shrubs, testing water quality and surveying for macroinvertebrates and fish. This kind of real-world experience is invaluable for students who may struggle in traditional classroom settings.

“I think it’s the community aspect — the teachers and students working side by side, the ability for these students to come back year after year and bring their families to these places to see the changes they’ve made for the better — that is the most powerful part of the experience for all of us,” said Becca Strom, lead educator for ECO.

This unique educational opportunity wouldn’t be possible without you. Your contributions have allowed the Habitat Support fund to provide $21,000 for students to learn in and out of the classroom while restoring river habitats in their community.

Over the last year, ECO has worked with 21 classes for over 2,000 hours and installed and maintained 1,200 native trees and shrubs among other accomplishments. A recent fish survey conducted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found juvenile salmon in the project area, demonstrating the success of this community effort to reconnect and restore the Watershed.