Education has always been part of the League’s mission, and our 2018-19 education programs advanced this body of work, reaching more than 8,500 students. Among the highlights:
In the sixth year of our Redwoods and Climate Change High School Program, we brought 944 students from San Francisco Bay Area cities into redwood forests to research the impact of the changing climate on these special places. The curriculum includes the latest scientific findings of our pioneering Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
This high school program inspires some students to become scientists. Aria Everingham, a senior at Oakland Technical High School, said the program has influenced her since her freshman year.
“I remember learning about the redwoods, how they grow, and how important their conservation is,” she said. Now Everingham plans to major in environmental science in college.
Our new North Coast Redwood Education Program in Humboldt and Del Norte counties provided comprehensive curricula about the redwood forest for the area’s teachers, and it funded forest field trips for five schools. The program served 670 junior high and high school students, and will be expanded to serve elementary students in fiscal year 2019-20.
“What this [program] does is help to build relevancy … it allows you to apply your learning and see it for yourself,” said Chris Hartley, Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools.
Our Exploring Your Watershed Program served more than 250 elementary students from three Oakland schools. In partnership with East Bay Regional Park District, the program teaches the kids about the linkages between water and the redwood forests through classroom lessons and two field trips within their local watershed. For many kids from these schools, outdoor excursions like these can be few and far between.
“Only one child out of my entire class last year had even been to a regional park,” says Janet Jackson, an Allendale Elementary School Teacher and a League education program participant. “Most of them have never seen a redwood tree. When you get nine-year-old kids into the parks, you can just see the excitement in their eyes,” Jackson says. “These programs can really help them connect with nature.”
Last, the League’s Redwood Phenology Program works with junior high students to study the different life-cycle stages of plants in the redwood forest. More than 120 students in the San Francisco Bay Area collected scientific data on trees in the redwood forest and analyzed the information using a national database.
All of the League’s education programs connect new generations of caretakers to redwood forests, teaching them about the importance of these places and what we all can do to protect them.