It has been a great year for SCA environmental education (adults) and our “Living Classroom” field trips (1st-12 grade)! SCA was honored to speak to our community about water quality issues of concern and what we can do about it this spring and summer at the Priest Lake Kaniksu-Coolin Lions Club annual meeting, East & West Priest Lake Cabin Owners Associations annual meetings, Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, the Pend Oreille Master Naturalists, Coeur d’Alene Earth Day, Coolin-Priest Lake Spring Festival and Priest River Timber Days!
SCA also had a great year of outdoor environmental education and was able to participate in and facilitate several hands-on, outdoor, “Living Classroom” field trips for area students. From the Bonner County Water Festival in May to SCA’s “Living Classroom” field trips to Trestle Creek in September SCA’s staff and Board were out teaching and preaching about all things water quality, native fisheries conservation, wetlands, biodiversity, climate change AND MORE!
The “Living Classroom” program consists of busing local students to amazing outdoor learning sites where they are immersed in outdoor science teachings and hands on activities! The sites have many great habitat features that we use to educate the students like stream, river and wetland habitats. The students rotate through three primary stations; Native Fisheries, Wetland Walk, Water Quality and Stream Science which all focus on and emphasize the importance of environmental protection, conservation, & stewardship. Additional stations (depending on where we are at) have included some fabulous education/instruction on native conifer and plant identification, forest fires and management, bear awareness and conflict reduction, native fisheries-Bull Trout – water quality education AND a nature poetry station! In addition we have hosted “Living Classroom” field trips at the Waterlife Discovery Center and the Trestle Creek Day Use area when the salmon are spawning!
Our goal is to educate and empower our local youth to have respect for & be stewards of our regional ecosystems, forests, wildlife, air, wetlands and water. SCA has targeted low income schools within Bonner, Boundary and Pend Oreille Counties as well as non-traditional schools like Home school Co-Ops, Charters schools and Tribal schools.
As stated, SCA’s “Living Classroom” field trips gets kids out in their “own back yard” educating them about critical natural resources protection, habitat degradation & conservation issues such as biodiversity conservation & water quality protection (to name a few).
With the help of numerous community volunteers and agency professionals our local youth are exposed to many natural resources career paths and study options. SCA seeks to educate, develop and empower the environmental stewards of the future with our education program work! In addition students get to interact with area professionals in the fields of conservation biology, limnology, fisheries biology, hydrology, wildlife biology and so many more. It is often said that if you cannot see it you cannot be it. Our program shows students the many possible career fields in STEM and environmental sciences available to them and they get to see first-hand just how cool the work these science professionals do every day is!