No matter your age, you can make a difference.

This school year, CWC will teach over 2,500 youth through scientific investigation and study of the San Lorenzo River watershed, increasing their awareness of environmental issues and how they can be part of the solution. At the completion of the program, students are sworn in as Watershed Rangers demonstrating their commitment to learning about their community and passing along their knowledge to others. Below is a brief overview of some of the programs offered to schools around Santa Cruz County:

We All Live in a Watershed (Kindergarten)

When there is more water in the San Lorenzo River, it is easier for steelhead trout to live and grow. All living things depend on the same natural resources for their survival, albeit in different ways. Students will examine the similarities and differences in how people and fish use water and how water use impacts the survival of steelhead trout. Students will apply their knowledge to identify actions we can all take to conserve water.

Where Does All the Water Go? (2nd Grade)

During the recent droughts in Santa Cruz County, flooding was observed around the lower San Lorenzo River. It had not rained, so where did the water come from? Students will obtain information about groundwater and collect/analyze data on how water moves through different earth materials (soil, silt, sand, pebbles, clay) to eventually enter the groundwater. Students will apply this knowledge to determine how flooding at the lower San Lorenzo River occurred during the drought and develop solutions for ensuring water stays within the river or under the ground.

Engineering for Stormwater Solutions (5th grade) 

Students create maps based on how water interacts with the different earth systems present on the school campus and explore how pollutants interact with the earth systems. Students test how the biosphere and hydrosphere can be used to reduce stormwater runoff and obtain information about green engineering practices that manage stormwater runoff. Applying what they have learned, students build models of green engineering practices to address a specific stormwater runoff challenge identified on their school campus.

After school, youth engage in hands-on exploration of the San Lorenzo River and take action in support of the health of the San Lorenzo River and broader Santa Cruz community. Youth participate in a series of investigations to learn more about healthy habitat for steelhead trout and vital riparian habitat, identify an issue affecting steelhead trout or the riparian corridor that is important to them, research solutions to address the environmental issue, and then plan and lead an action project that helps bring about positive change to the San Lorenzo River. Engaging students in the Watershed Rangers program is made possible with the generous support from the County of Santa Cruz, City of Santa Cruz, City of Capitola, Joseph and Vera Long Foundation, Nicholson Family Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs, The Richard and Susan Beach Family Fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training grant program.

Register your school for Watershed Rangers

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