Learning Along The River

 “Learning Along the River” is a 10 week outdoor education program which took place along the banks of the Salinas River in San Miguel. Students  also had the opportunity to explore several local farms.

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We created this program as a means to coordinate and sustain a network of teachers, students, conservation specialists and other community members to plan and implement an outdoor education program for economically disadvantaged students in north San Luis Obispo County. 6th and 7th graders from Lillian Larsen Elementary in San Miguel  participated in a hands-on adventure of watershed studies and learned the importance of conservation practices along the Salinas River. Our watershed science education activities emphasized project based learning and offered an integrated learning experience for students to work together, learn from local experts, connect to their local watershed, and be empowered by their actions.

Students participated in weekly sessions where they learned about their local watershed, local agriculture, SLO County geologic history, orienteering and tracking, topographic mapping, soil testing, and riparian flora and fauna.  Several local experts spoke to the children each week, allowing students to learn about careers in natural sciences. At the end of the 10 week session the students will served as guides on a nature hike for their families and the local community. This program was funded through the generosity of JUSTIN Vineyards and The Resnick Family Foundation, and the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County.