The Task Force’s Restoration Ecology for Young Stewards (REYS) program is a project- and inquiry-based curriculum (9 classroom lessons and 2 fieldtrips) that actively teaches youth in grades 5-8 about the ecology of the Puget Sound. The goal of REYS is to promote environmental stewardship by enhancing critical thinking skills and drawing specific links between human actions and their ecological impacts on the Puget Sound watersheds. Students learn about riparian ecosystems, watershed dynamics, water quality, non-point source pollution, and salmon, and then apply their knowledge to design and implement a salmon habitat restoration project that they will actually implement in the field. Throughout this process, students wear the many hats associated with conservation biology and engage in activities performed by “real” scientists, such as authentic investigations and peer review.
In REYS, students perform three projects: 1) designing and implementing a salmon habitat restoration project (riparian tree planting); 2) creating and conducting a research project to support their restoration efforts (e.g. research on water quality or invasive plants); and 3) designing an interpretive sign for their restoration site.
Since 2004, REYS has involved over 1,050 students from the Arlington, Lakewood, Marysville, Snohomish and Snoqualmie School Districts. For the 20010/11 school year, four classrooms from English Crossing Elementary in the Lakewood School District, two classrooms from Chain Lake Elementary in Monroe School District and one classroom from James Monroe Elementary in the Everett School District, will participate in REYS.
Through the REYS program, we expect students to develop the critical thinking skills required of an engaged and productive community member. Best of all, as both the kids and the trees they planted grow taller, students can return to their restoration to see their plan to enhance salmon habitat come to life.
Funding for REYS has been provided from the Washington State Department of Ecology, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Anne and Mary Arts and Environmental Education Fund, and the Puget Sound Anglers Sno-King Chapter.
Partnering organizations include Snohomish County, King County, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, City of Marysville, Snohomish Conservation District, and AmeriCorps-Washington Service Corps.
REYS curriculum now available for download! All lessons developed by Cara Ianni at the Stilly-Snohomish Task Force, except where noted on the lesson plans. Below are the lessons, in the suggested order, and scroll down for more for information about REYS!
- Concept Mapping
- Watershed Tour (field trip)
- Watershed Tour Worksheet
- Salmon Lesson Student Worksheet
- Salmon Information and Pictures by Species (from Snohomish County Surface Water Management)
- The Four Hs Salmon Info Sheet
- Plants as a System
- Plants as a System Worksheet
- How do trees affect erosion? A controlled investigation
- How do trees affect erosion? A controlled investigation (Answer Key)
- How do trees affect erosion? Student Worksheet
- Native Plants Student Worksheet (lesson credit: Snohomish County Surface Water Management)
- Native Plants Student Guidebook (Word document)
- Exploring testable questions and choosing a research topic
- Exploring testable questions and choosing a research topic – example worksheet (answer key) (Word doc)
- Exploring testable questions and choosing a research topic – student worksheet
- Designing Your Experiment (adapted from Cornell University’s Watershed Dynamics Curriculum)
- Designing Your Experiment Student Worksheet (elementary)
- Designing Your Experiment Student Worksheet (secondary)
- Designing Your Experiment Peer Review Form (adapted from Cornell University’s Watershed Dynamics Curriculum)
- Sorting it Out: Using and Creating Keys
- Key to Life in a River (from University of Wisconsin-Extension) (Adobe PDF)
- Sorting it Out: Using and Creating Keys – Student Worksheet for macroinvertebrates
- Sorting it Out: Example Plant ID card (Excel file)
- Sorting it Out: Using and Creating Keys – Student Worksheet for plants (Excel file)
- Sorting it Out: Using and Creating Keys – Example Student Work for plants (Excel file)
- There is No Point to this Pollution lesson plan (adapted from Healthy Waters Healthy People)
- There is No Point to this Pollution student worksheet
- There is No Point to this Pollution Fish Kill Article
- There is No Point to this Pollution Watershed Map – Snohomish (Adobe PDF)
- There is No Point to this Pollution Watershed Map – Stillaguamish (Adobe PDF)
- Student-designed interpretive signs – lesson plan
- Student-designed interpretive signs – example