Watershed Education Program

Sonoma Ecology Center’s Watershed Education Program offers valuable environmental science instruction for Sonoma Valley students. The program consists of three grade-level science modules for 2nd, 4th and 5th grades, which we are able to offer to schools at no cost thanks to our generous funders and donors. Teachers are encouraged to book classes early, as the calendar fills up fast.

Delivered by experienced environmental educators, each module includes five one-hour classroom lessons and a four-hour field experience. Additionally, our Watershed Education Program modules are designed to support the Common Core State Standards and California’s newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards.

Wildlife Defenders is the 2nd grade module of our Watershed Education Program. This module focuses on concepts of habitat, adaption and survival, natural communities, and life cycles through the lens of the oak woodland ecosystem. Using models and hands-on explorations, students will learn about the specific flora and fauna that make up their local ecosystem, including what they can do as stewards of this diverse natural community. Our field trip is to the Montini Open Space Preserve (located near downtown Sonoma), a beautiful oak woodland with meandering trails.

Growing Discovery is the 4th grade module of our Watershed Education Program. Using interactive games and investigations, this module focuses on pollination and pollinators, the structure and function of flowers, food chains, and decomposition. Students will learn how our food is grown and sustainable agriculture concepts, including what they can do to foster a healthy local and backyard ecosystem. Our field trip is to the Sonoma Garden Park, a 6-acre working farm and garden.

Water Wonders is the 5th grade module of our Watershed Education Program. This module focuses on watersheds using our very own Sonoma Creek Watershed as a model. Topics include water conservation, types of pollution and its prevention, the salmon life-cycle and anatomy (with a salmon dissection), and creek ecosystems. Students will learn where Sonoma Valley’s water comes from and goes to, and what they can do to foster a healthy local watershed and ecosystem. Our field trip is to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, home to the headwaters of Sonoma Creek.

To find out more or to schedule your classroom, please contact Holland Gistelli at holland@sonomaecologycenter.org or 707-996-0712, ext. 108.