Watershed Education Initiative for the Urban Truckee River Corridor
Deliver high-quality, experiential watershed education programs based on water quality issues and invasive species along the urban Truckee River corridor to empower youth to take action for the protection and enhancement of the water quality of the Truckee River. To meet schools’ needs in case of closures, we have a distance learning program in place called Sierra Nevada Journeys Virtual Classrooms that will still significantly engage students, teachers and parents with watershed education.
During the past 11 years, Sierra Nevada Journeys’ (SNJ) Watershed Education Initiative (WEI) has impacted approximately 12,080 students and 577 educators. This has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Truckee River Fund. WEI educates students about the local watershed, including human impacts on the watershed, water quality, and watershed protection. While in-class and field-based lessons reach students and educators, WEI’s additional outreach components serve to engage families and community volunteers.
WEI is an education program that addresses water, water quality and watershed protection for K-8th grade students, directly aligning with grant priority VI: Stewardship and Environmental Awareness. Students gain first-hand experience determining water quality, explore human impacts on their water source, and obtain skills, knowledge and a field experience to connect them to their local river. The overall long-term program impacts include:
- Students understand important science concepts related to the Truckee River watershed and can articulate how their actions affect the Truckee River watershed and local ecosystems.
- Teachers use extension lessons and implement more hands-on exploration of the watershed. Parents and community members engage in watershed education directly through WEI volunteer.
- Health of the Truckee River watershed and local ecosystems improves as students and their families adopt environmental stewardship practices that help reduce water pollution and human impacts.