By Susan Peterson, Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Complex
The Kids in the Creek program celebrated its 20th year at the Entiat National Fish Hatchery. For those not familiar with this award winning program, Kids in the Creek began in 1992 when specialists from several resource agencies, Future Farmers of America and science teachers from local high schools adopted the hands-on field experience idea to connect students with aquatic and riparian ecosystems for an understanding of watersheds and the critical role of human land management activities.
Students from the Discovery School, located on the grounds of Leavenworth NFH, investigate water quality impacts from human and natural events. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Today, the KITC program holds three field days at the Entiat National Fish Hatchery and consists of six educational stations and a culminating activity where students employ all the concepts and knowledge to develop a land use scenario utilizing best management practices and mitigate potential negative impacts on natural resources with the local ecosystem. Over three hundred students from six area schools and almost 40 resource specialists were engaged in this dynamic activity.
Tim McCracken (USFWS) biologist teaches high school students how to estimate cover by species composition vegetation on plots along a transect. - Photo Credit: USFWS
The Kids in the Creek program is hosted by Cascadia Conservation District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The program has been expanded and adapted to different age levels including 4th graders and is a favorite at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival.
Check out the Kids in the Creek Website for more information