Developing the next generation of watershed stewards.
We offer watershed education programs for all ages, which focus on connecting local communities to watersheds, nature and stewardship opportunities. Our programs are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and take into account current best practices in science and environmental education. We are committed to providing quality STEM experiences for all students.
Virtual Classroom for kids
The first pieces of our Community Resilience from Home classes (introductory videos and 4-6 activities per age group) are available now, and we will upload the rest of the content by early-mid May. Please stay enrolled in the class to receive new content as we update these evolving resources in the future!
As the Bay Area has sheltered in place due to COVID-19, it’s become increasingly apparent that human beings crave connection, both to each other and to the natural world around us. Through our new online Community Resilience from Home curriculum, we hope to help students understand physical distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation, because we all remain connected through our watershed. Water touches every one of us as it flows from the hills down to the Bay, and connects us to the other plants, animals, and even rocks that call the Bay Area home. We believe that understanding, exploration, observation and appreciation of the local watershed can help students feel rooted in place while broadening their perspective beyond daily stress and anxiety. Our programs are designed to support learning in science and English Language Arts, mental wellbeing, and social-emotional skills.
Click on each of the course names below to see more details about the program:
For grades K-5: Watershed Awareness from Home (course code nd2ewzj)
For grades 6-8: Understanding Ecosystems from Home (course code jcjyhmc)
For grades 9-12: Climate Change & Community Resilience from Home (course code tv2bdul)
These FREE classes are available to all Bay Area K-12 students, families and teachers!
New to Google classroom? Simply sign in online or download the Google classroom app on a mobile device, and enroll in the class using the course code above.* It’s a great way for you to share your work with us and ask us questions, just as if we were guest teachers in your school!
If you are a teacher or caregiver and would prefer to share these materials directly with your students rather than having them enroll in the Google classroom, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to provide them for you. Our educators are also available to provide support directly to your students, through meetings or guest teaching in your virtual classroom. Contact us if you are interested!
*Trouble enrolling? If you are using a school or organization email to log in, your administrator may prevent you from enrolling in Google classes outside your school or organization. For example, WCCUSD teachers and students can only enroll in WCCUSD Google classes. Try using a different email to enroll, or contact us directly.
Our Current Offerings
Our elementary school programs focus on introducing students to watersheds and providing opportunities for them to explore nature in their neighborhood. We believe that spending time outside in local parks is key to establishing a lifelong connection to nature.
Our elementary school programs include themes around watersheds, marine debris, and nature exploration.
Explore Your Watershed (Grades 4-5): This is an exciting year-long watershed exploration program. Students explore ecosystem connections, water quality, and species diversity through nature hikes, science journaling, games, and macroinvertebrate study. Click here for details!
From Me to the Sea (Grades K-5): Students make connections between their schools, watersheds and marine debris through hands-on activities, shoreline exploration and action projects. Click here for details!
Kids in Creeks (Grades 2-4): Students learn about riparian habitats and how animals, plants and humans all need creeks. They visit a local creek and engage in study of macroinvertebrates, water quality testing and wildlife observation. Click here for details!
Kids In Marshes (Grades 2-4): Students learn about the plants and animals that live in the salt marsh through interactive games and building a model salt marsh. They visit a local salt marsh and have the opportunity to observe birds, go on plant scavenger hunts and use nature journals. Click here for details!
Riparian Lab is a multi-week (8-12 weeks, depending on the venue) creek-based environmental education program that serves children age 6-13 in Richmond or San Pablo. In this after school or summer program, participants explore a creek habitat through a series of hands-on activities.
Our middle school and high school programs focus on introducing older students to watersheds through data collection, service learning, design challenge and discussion. Through actual hands-on engagement in local parks and on-going projects, we believe that middle and high school students can be inspired to become leaders in watershed stewardship.
From Me to the Sea (Grades 6-12): In our From Me to the Sea middle school and high school program, students engage in citizen science data collection and analysis around marine debris to experience firsthand the scope of the problem, but also the efforts underway to solve it. Click here for details!
Rains to Roots (Grades 9-12): In this program, students explore the complicated question: How can you restore natural function to urban watersheds? Students investigate the issues that affect their communities from urban runoff and stormwater and learn about how these issues can be mitigated through green infrastructure. Click here for details!
Wild Oysters (Grades 9-12): Wild Oysters is a high school program that uses native Olympia oysters as a teaching tool. Students get the chance to experience a day in the life of a marine biologist as they put on rubber boots and collect data on an oyster reef in the San Francisco Bay. They have the opportunity to taste oysters in Tomales Bay as they learn about aquaculture. We offer optional additional teacher-led lessons and teacher training as well as a modified short program to select participating classes. Click here for details!
We are actively recruiting high school teachers for our Wild Oysters Institute for the 2019-2020 school year!
Our Greening Urban Watersheds Service Learning Programs include service trips to various restoration sites, including tree planting opportunities. Click here for details!
College and Beyond
We seek to encourage the next generation to discover their passion for environmental work.
Green Collar Corps is a job training program for youth from Contra Costa County. It focuses on leadership and job skills training, as well as specific instruction in conservation and restoration work.
Our interns contribute directly to meaningful and exciting projects, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience, all while working for vital environmental change.
Please visit our Green Careers page for more information about our current offerings.
It is only with the help of teachers that we can aspire to developing environmental stewards. We partner with teachers to implement our programs and we offer professional learning opportunities on how to teach about watersheds and engage students in hands-on science. We have a long history of high quality curriculum offerings and continue to develop and revise curriculum on a variety of environmental topics.
Resources for Educators
The following lessons provide opportunities for investigating and learning about local watersheds. Check back often as more activities will be added soon!
We are excited to announce our participation in Green Schoolyards America’s 2018 Living Schoolyard Activity Guide. You can find our contribution, Observing a Creek, on page 161. It is for ages 8-18 and is designed as an easy creek observation activity for schools with creeks on or near their school campus.
Looking for a fun activity to do outside with your family? Explore the activities we’ve put together below!
If you’re interested in exploring your watershed or new parts of the Bay Area, check out some of the parks and locations we recommended through our Summer Photo Contest from August 2017!
Teachers and Schools
We invite schools in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, especially in Richmond, to apply for our watershed education programs. Title 1 schools are eligible for our programs at no cost, and we offer sliding scale fee-for-service programs to other schools starting at $125. Please fill out the interest form below to find out more, and allow for 1-2 weeks for a response from one of our Education Team staff to get back to you. Please note that filling out this form does not guarantee you a program. Based on our availability and funding, we will reach out to you to schedule a program.
For all other education inquires, please contact: email@example.com