From the Classroom

Year in Review: 2016-2017

Another year has come and gone in the Watershed Classroom and what a great year it’s been! Let’s look at some of the highlights.

The Stats

This year we supported 25 educators coordinating on 14 Watershed Classroom projects that spanned 13 schools. This was also the first year the program covered all 12 grade levels. Between these projects, our David Yearsley River Heritage Center field trips, and loans from our materials library, we were able to serve an estimated 1300 local students!

 Petaluma High Students from Linda Judah's  Interactions in Our Watershed  project survey the banks of the McNear peninsula in Steamer Landing Park. 

Petaluma High Students from Linda Judah's Interactions in Our Watershed project survey the banks of the McNear peninsula in Steamer Landing Park. 

Watershed Classroom Coordinator

At the end of last school year we hired a dedicated Watershed Classroom Coordinator, which meant that this year there was more time and energy focused on the needs of our teachers and students.

 Watershed Classroom Coordinator Katelynn Wiley walks through a water treatment model with students from the Petaluma Accelerated Charter school as part of Matt Jackson and Jovanna Ayala's  Flush  curriculum. 

Watershed Classroom Coordinator Katelynn Wiley walks through a water treatment model with students from the Petaluma Accelerated Charter school as part of Matt Jackson and Jovanna Ayala's Flush curriculum. 

Field Trips

We hosted and facilitated 13 field trips in Petaluma. Students visiting us at the David Yearsely River Heritage Center learned about our river and watershed, water quality testing, local plants and wildlife, restoration, boating, and so much more!

 Our Programs Director Michelle Sauceda with students from Live Oak Charter School at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center during the  first field trip  of 2016-2017.

Our Programs Director Michelle Sauceda with students from Live Oak Charter School at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center during the first field trip of 2016-2017.

Professional Development  

At our our 2016 summer professional development, 16 teachers developed skills for outdoor education and field journalling from UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science BEETLES team!

We also ran two trainings for our water testing kits, giving Petaluma teachers a better base of knowledge and experience to guide their students through stormwater and water quality monitoring curriculum.  

 Attendees at the 2016 BEETLES training closely examine leaves as part of an outdoor education exercise. 

Attendees at the 2016 BEETLES training closely examine leaves as part of an outdoor education exercise. 

Showcase

At our second annual 2017 Student Showcase, 10 groups of student representatives from our various projects blew us away with their knowledge and understanding of the state of our river.

 River Montessori students Jocelyn Edwards and Sara Christmann Rigsby tabling after their Student Showcase presentation, representing Beth Flynn and Deanna Peake's project  We All Live in a Watershed . 

River Montessori students Jocelyn Edwards and Sara Christmann Rigsby tabling after their Student Showcase presentation, representing Beth Flynn and Deanna Peake's project We All Live in a Watershed

Senior Award

This year in coordination with the City of Petaluma, we introduced a scholarship program, offering $750, $500, and $250 awards to our top three submissions. The students turned in amazing work. We will be posting all these fantastic videos soon. Below is our first place submission. You can see this and our second place submission this year at the Sonoma Marin fair! 

Alisa Dreyer and Logan Douglas: "We capture the importance of the Petaluma River, and the many ways the community enjoys it. Then, we show what detrimental effects stormwater pollution can have on our home's river. Lastly, we offer all the different actions we can take in order to keep our water clean, and our town thriving."

And More!

These are just a few of the things we were able to accomplish in 2016-2017. We also added a second application period, started to publish our monthly newsletter the Watershed Classroom Tide, offered classroom funding for projects, extended Friends of the Petaluma River membership to our teachers, expanded our educational materials library, began a partnership with the City of Petaluma, and so much more. The program has grown in so many ways and we can’t wait to see where it takes us this next year. 

Stay tuned to see what we can accomplish in 2017-2018, and reach out the katelynn@friendsofthepetalumariver.org if you would like to be involved in this incredible program!