After many years and touring thousands of school students through the Mary Olson Farm where they learned about stream ecology during the five runs of salmon who call that stream home, the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards calls for a new approach. Funding is requested to pilot Stream to Sea Week at the Mary Olson Farm, an experiential environmental education program that features new subjects and occurs only during the first week in December when salmon are guaranteed to be in the stream. Two busloads of students will arrive every 90 minutes; students will be led by a guide through a series of eight stations. The activities address Next Generation Science Standards and focus on watersheds and stream ecology. Students will participate in stream water testing, learn about watershed health, take a forest walk and learn about native plants, observe salmon spawning with a Native American storyteller, meet a salmon predator (a live bald eagle), learn about historic Native fishing techniques with a Muckleshoot instructor, get introduced to the Boldt Decision and treaty fishing rights, and meet the farm’s livestock and learn about manure management and composting with staff from the King Conservation District.
We are seeking funds to help pilot this program: to purchase the needed equipment, hire hourly guides and educators, provide honoraria for participants, and to provide bus scholarships for the anticipated 750 young participants.