“Bugs! There are bugs in the water!” Kindergartners from Tierra Pacifica Charter School stand side by side peering through magnifying lenses into the San Lorenzo River just next to Mike Fox Skate Park to get a glimpse at the aquatic bugs that call the San Lorenzo River home. Many try to catch the insects, darting their dip nets into the water or scooping up water with a cup and peer closely into the water to watch these tiny creatures moving about in their aquatic home.
Home. The San Lorenzo River is home to aquatic insects, to steelhead trout, to us. The river belongs to us and we belong to the river. But this connection doesn’t always happen organically and we are committed that youth who live, play and learn near the river have positive experiences to help them realize how the river is important to them. Perhaps the river is important to them because they can find bugs in the water, maybe it’s because they want to see their neighborhood from a river point of view, maybe it’s because their family has distant roots to this river. We are committed that youth have the chance to notice, to wonder, to explore, to connect, to protect this river. To support our goal, the Coastal Watershed Council is bringing students to the lower San Lorenzo River to engage in recreation, hands-on science, reflection and nature art. Whether it is a class field trip or a 24 week after-school program, it is our commitment that youth come away from their experience at the river with a knowledge that this is their river.