The Task Force’s “Fish and Forests for Kids” program was implemented during the 2008-09 school year, with seven elementary school classrooms from the Monroe, Snohomish and Everett School Districts. The program’s goal was to educate approximately 175 students about the multiple benefits of healthy ecosystems, the role that trees play, plant biology, and the rewards of good land stewardship, through a project-based curriculum that integrated arboriculture and environmental education.
Students began the program by using systems-thinking to learn more about the functions and interactions between parts of a tree. Then, students visited a local forest ecosystem to explore the important roles that trees play in maintaining water quality, salmon habitat and food-web dynamics. Next, students performed an in-class experiment to test, “How Do Trees Affect Erosion?” In addition, students participated in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The program ended with a capstone project where students grew and observed native trees in their classroom or schoolyard. These trees were planted along Task Force salmon habitat restoration sites in the following years.
Links to the Forest and Fish for Kids curriculum are provided below: