Take Action: Explore & Learn in Nature! - Escondido, CA

by San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
Activity Type: Hiking, Stewardship, Other
Region: Pacific West

80 students from two Title 1 schools in Escondido will visit, explore  and protect two local parks in their community.

$1,750 Raised out of $1,750
10 Funders
0 Days Remaining

Please describe your project in more detail.

This proposed weekend activity is part of a larger Our Living Watershed school-based program that provides quality access to the outdoors to 1,500 Escondido students annually in grades 3-5. It consists of a conservation education program that helps students gain an understanding of watershed functions, and the roles we all play in keeping our watershed clean and healthy. During the school field trips, students hike trails through various habitats to experience of the diverse wildlife in the Escondido Creek watershed, and increase their knowledge and appreciation of the open spaces surrounding their community. Initiated in 2009, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade program is established at four Escondido schools: Central, Lincoln, Felicita and Farr. The students participate for three consecutive years, each year building upon the knowledge and experiences gained in the previous year. The program begins with classroom instruction about key environmental concepts (adaptations, food chains and water resources), followed by naturalist guided field trips onto the trails of San Elijo Lagoon to observe these concepts firsthand. Trained naturalist encourage the students to use all of their senses to observe their surroundings and engage them through visuals, touch props, and conversation. Students make conservation pledges and practice conservation behaviors such as sorting recyclables, reducing plastics and conserving water, and making art out of recycled items. They then enlist family and community participation, encouraging future generations of environmental leaders.

As part of our school program, we are beginning to include weekend exploration hikes to
complement what the students are doing in school. We have learned through Teacher Focus
groups that the students really enjoy participating in the weekend field trips and often ask their
teachers when they can go again. Transportation is always a big barrier to getting the students
out in nature as many of the families have limited resources. Field trip activities include hiking,
exploring using all our senses, and engaging in stewardship by participating in a Countywide
clean ups. This program is a great way to introduce and connect students to their local parks,
while providing opportunities to help instill lifelong conservation attitudes that will transform
behaviors for generations to come. The goal of conservation education is to instill lifelong
conservation attitudes that will transform behaviors for generations to come. This requires
opportunities to connect to nature, the skills and confidence to take conservation actions, and
opportunities to practice those skills.

How many kids (grades K-8) will be directly engaged in this project?

80 students, grades 3-5

What is the name or school district associated with the project?

Escondido Unified School District (Felicita and Central Elementary) 

June 24, 2016 - Thanks Eagle Creek!

Thanks Eagle Creek!