Cascadia Conservation District
The Kids in the Forest and Kids in the Shrub Steppe Projects will partner with North Central ESD to provide professional development for teachers on leading field experiences and provide forest and wildland field experiences for grades 3-12 in North Central Washington.
Teacher PD will include classroom time with the ESD to introduce teachers to curriculums already developed by both government and private organizations, including Project Learning Tree and locally developed experiences based on current scientific research conducted at the local USFS PNW Research lab, which facilitators in North Central Washington have already found effective. Cascadia will enhance the classroom work by leading teachers through planning and implementing field experiences.
Students will be introduced to fire ecology/forest health concepts in the classroom and will visit the forests near their community where concepts learned in the classroom will be reinforced to allow a deeper understanding of the importance of forest management.
Teacher Professional Development
Participants are provided with easy-to-understand/implement sources of information and activities about basic forest/fire/climate ecology. We provide them with an understanding of the basic storyline: what is there, what are the variables, how have different species adapted to that particular niche/location (especially fire and climate), how is everything connected, how that balance is interrupted, what role human management has affected the balance, and what are the possible solutions that will help provide sustainability/balance? There is an understanding that no one solution will work all the time forever. We provide an introduction to the Project Learning Tree curriculum and integrate those activities that specifically relate to climate and fire. Each participant also receives a flash drive with all the activities on it, along with background information that both teachers and students need to understand the basic concepts.
Much of our training involved Project Learning Tree materials.
Student Field Experiences
Students come to the forest or shrub steppe for a full day field experience with local forestry and fire experts. Students take an interpretive hike, build their own landscape model and plant a matchstick forest then learn which types of forests are more likely to burn and why. Other education stations include and fuels reduction and chipping demo by the local Fire District, forest model dioramas with a local artist, and more based on expert availability.
Partners & Collaborators
Columbia Breaks Fire Interpretive Center
Chelan-Douglas Land Trust
The Wildfire Project
North Central ESD
US Forest Service
Chelan County Fire District 1
Classes & Events
Kids in the Creek
The annual and award-winning Kids in the Creek program gets high school science students out of the classroom and into the outdoors to learn how stream and watersheds work. About 300 students from about 10 area high schools participate each year.
Wenatchee River Salmon Festival
This annual event that consists of two days devoted to students and one day for families attracts around 8,000 visitors per year. Cascadia brings the US Bureau of Reclamation’s Rolling Rivers trailer to this event to teach students about watersheds and fish habitat.
This hand-ons environmental education program takes place in schools and teaches students about water, soils, watersheds, energy, systems, and wheat, and how they impact our lives. Lessons are one hour per day for five consecutive days.
Success Stories from Cascadia Conservation District
Partners on this program, Cascadia Conservation District, The Wildfire Project, Columbia Breaks, and Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, held a series of teacher workshops in Chelan and Douglas counties to prepare teachers for student field days in May and June. Learn more...
The first week of October we hosted about 300 5th-6th grade students from Wenatchee and East Wenatchee for our field experience. The experience consists of several stations teaching students about forest health, ecology, and fire. The field days are held at Mission...
In August we teamed up with the NCESD to bring our Kids in the Forest teacher training to their STEM Summit. We offered a half day in classroom lesson followed by a half day field trip to locations we host field days for students.