Environmental Education

Read about our Environmental Education with K-12 youth.

Dec 22

Hatchery Field Trip Program Finishes 2023 Strong

Posted on December 22, 2023 at 10:35 AM by Gracie DeMeo

by Maddie Snook

Two volunteers holding up a sign that says "Thank You Hatchery Volunteers!"

Two education docents, Georga and Patty holding a banner gifted by the Puyallup School District. 

That’s a wrap on our field trips at the hatchery for 2023! From September to December, Pierce Conservation District assisted the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation and Puyallup School District with a STEM program to give every 4th-grade class in the school district a learning opportunity that will last a lifetime. Students had an opportunity to see real salmon spawning in Clark’s Creek, learn about the salmon life cycle, and discover how humans have affected their population. Now, over 2,200 students are salmon conservation stewards! Thank you to our education docent volunteers, without whom these field trips would not happen. 

An education docent holding up their hand and pointing to their palm, while students in coats listenEducation docent Isabel teaching students how to remember the five species of salmon in Washington using the "high-five" method.

A hand showing each of the five fingers as they relate to salmon.

The "high-five" method for remembering salmon species, courtesy of Andrew Chan from The Sierra Club.

Sep 27

Students (and Salmon) Return to Hatchery

Posted on September 27, 2023 at 12:30 PM by Gracie DeMeo

The PCD education team is gearing up for another busy fall season! This year, every 4th grade class in the Puyallup School District will visit the Puyallup Hatchery for a field trip. PCD is partnering with the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation to make this happen. The students will get to tour the hatchery, see eggs and alevin up close, and view spawning salmon in Clarks Creek. We're also excited because this is the first program our new volunteer docents will help with! These docents will help us reach more students and get more kids outside to learn about the environment. Visit our Volunteer Docent Program to learn more about this fun new opportunity to get involved with PCD.

A person with a PCD hat on points at a map of Puget Sound, showing salmon routes to 4th graders.

PCD AmeriCorps Member Maddie Snook shows salmon migration routes to 4th graders.
Jun 05

Walla Walla Claims Top Spot at State Envirothon

Posted on June 5, 2023 at 1:23 PM by Marlie Sloan

The students from Walla Walla High School hold their 1st place certificate.
The students from Walla Walla High School hold their 1st place certificate.

What a Wonderful Envirothon!

Soundview Camp on the Key Peninsula was the setting for this year's Washington State Envirothon competition. Teams from around the state descended on the camp to put their natural resources knowledge to the test, having earned their way through various regional events. As teams arrived, they explored the camp's trails and expansive shoreline, noting the sand dollars and jellyfish scattered along the shore of the Puget Sound. They made the most of the first day at camp, mingling with other teams through trivia, scavenger hunts, and a communal dinner. 

As they finished their breakfast the next morning, it was time to turn their attention to the task at hand. They dispersed to their testing stations scattered around the camp. From identifying wildlife skulls, to measuring tree diameter, and analyzing soil profiles, they tackled the challenging tests placed before them. They also presented their approaches to mitigating the effects of climate change to a panel of judges on behalf of a small waterfront town. 

When the pencils were down and the scores added up, Walla Walla High School had earned 1st place- in their first ever year of competing, no less! Following in 2nd place was Tesla STEM High School of Renton, and Avanti High School of Olympia placing 3rd among the 11 competing teams. It was another strong field, and we can't wait to cheer on Walla Walla as they advance to the North American Envirothon Competition in July! Great job to all the students.

Students gather at the camp's amphitheater for a trivia competition.
Students and staff gather at the camp's amphitheater for a trivia competition. 

A team roasts marshmallows together over the camp's fire.
A team roasts marshmallows together over the camp's fire. 

A group explores the beach and discovers aquatic life.
A group explores the beach and discovers aquatic life.

Students are smiling at the aquatics station.
Team Coho smiles at the aquatics station.