In the Field

In the Field

CWC brings watershed education to where people live, work and play. Through our programs, people build new connections to nature, explore their watershed with family and friends and feel empowered to generate change for lasting environmental benefits for Santa Cruz County watersheds and the Monterey Bay Marine National Sanctuary. That’s why we think it’s critical that we don’t just teach environmental education in the classroom, but also engage students and families in environmental learning in their own backyards. This is how we do it:

We know that after school is a critical time to provide a safe space for students to learn new skills and engage in hands-on science and art.

After SchoolAfter school programs have been proven to improve academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children. CWC after school programs engage youth in their natural backyard and create opportunities for them to examine their connection with their local watersheds.

CWC is proud to partner with Nueva Vista Community Resources, a program of Community Bridges, that serves the Beach Flats and Lower Ocean community. We partner with the group’s After School Homework Club. Each Wednesday elementary and middle school students arrive at the center, receive an after school snack, an hour to complete homework and one hour of hands-on learning with CWC along the San Lorenzo River with an emphasis on connecting the San Lorenzo River watershed as their home. Through bike trips along the riverwalk, team-building challenges near the lagoon, and investigative walks around their community students learn about the plants and animals of the San Lorenzo River and how they are directly connected to the river itself.

CWC and local artist Mariah Roberts have teamed up with Branciforte Middle School to empower students to preserve and protect their local watershed through an intensive 4-month Certified Watershed Ranger program. Through scientific investigation and art exploration at Branciforte Creek and on the school campus, students are developing their awareness of watershed dynamics, the human influences on their local watershed, and what they can do to help out. This program prepares students to be leaders in the community and to share their passion and knowledge of their watershed with others.

The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz County engages hundreds of local kids throughout the year with computer skills, teen center, swimming and more. CWC is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club to provide monthly hands-on exploration of the San Lorenzo River Watershed with a focus on the human connection to their watershed. Students have investigated water quality of the San Lorenzo River, learned about how humans impact the life cycle of local anadromous fish, examined the endless connections within their watershed to their daily lives and identify biological indicators of pollution in our waters. This program is an opportunity for youth to discover that this important river is right next door.

Schools out for summer and CWC bringing summer campers across the watershed to discover their own connection to the San Lorenzo River watershed.

Summer CampSummer campers explore the San Lorenzo River watershed from top to bottom. With trips to places such as Castle Rock State Park, Loch Lomond Reservoir and Delaveaga Park students see the ecological, biological and human connections of the San Lorenzo River Watershed. Hikes, bike rides, scientific investigation and interactive games engage students in exploring the connections between the plants, animals, water, rocks and humans of this watershed.