Submitted by The Evergreen State College
On March 22, 400 student delegates from schools around the South Puget Sound and Nisqually Watersheds will gather at The Evergreen State College for the 26th Annual Student GREEN Congress. This year’s Congress theme focuses on the Orcas of Puget Sound, featuring a welcome from State Representative Beth Doglio (LD-22) and keynote presentation Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales, a program where students can experience the world as the animals around them do. With the Southern Resident Killer Whale population at critical levels, this year is a special opportunity to connect students’ work studying local stream habitats to broad issues of environmental stewardship at every level of their communities.
The Nisqually River Education Project and South Sound Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN) host Student GREEN Congress each year as the culmination of water quality monitoring programs in classes around local watersheds. Student delegates ranging from 4th grade through high school will participate in a “State of the Rivers” session, sharing water quality data and developing action plans to improve their local streams and rivers.
Students will also learn from experts dealing with today’s environmental issues and take part in hands-on, science-based educational workshops, including salmon carcass dissections, making bird boxes, getting up close with stream bugs, shellfish tasting, live raptors, tree planting, and much more.
Since Student GREEN Congress began in 1992, thousands of students and hundreds of teachers have used hands-on learning to make a meaningful difference in their own backyards. The event is supported by a robust group of community partners who make this educational experience possible. In addition to support from Thurston Conservation District, Nisqually River Foundation, and The Evergreen State College, this year’s GREEN Congress partners include Mount Rainier National Park, Thurston County Environmental Health, the Nisqually and Capital Land Trusts, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Nisqually Reach Nature Center, Tacoma Power, Taylor Shellfish Farm, Wolf Haven International, Northwest Trek, the Pacific Shellfish Institute, Trout Unlimited, Northwoods Limited, Strawless Olympia, Eco Woodworks, Native Plant Salvage Foundation, City of Olympia, Tumwater Stream Team, and the Mountaineers, along with local artists, scientists, and educators committed to environmental stewardship.
South Sound GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) is a watershed education program in Thurston County that educates, empowers and connects about 50 classrooms and 1200 students in watershed studies annually. Through South Sound GREEN, participants engage in science and engineering practices related to water quality in South Sound. For more information, visit the Thurston Conservation District website.
The Nisqually River Education Project is housed within the Nisqually River Foundation. Our mission is to connect students in the Nisqually watershed with the environment around them. We work to teach students how they impact the river, the environment, and their community. For more information, visit the Nisqually River Education Project website.