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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Hockinson schools and Lower Columbia Estuary partner in native shrub planting

The Columbian

HOCKINSON — This spring, Hockinson School District teamed up with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership to champion hands-on environmental science education opportunities for students at Hockinson Heights Elementary School. Students participated in classroom activities with Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership educators, then applied the learning to hands-on native shrub planting at Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway in Vancouver, exposing students to scientific careers while making a difference in the community.

The hands-on native shrub planting field trip was a culmination of classroom research and opportunity for students to solve real world problems. Planting native trees and shrubs along the riparian areas of Burnt Bridge Creek helps to improve the health of local waterways and enhance wildlife habitat. Students will witness the tangible effects of their work at Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway throughout their lifetimes.

“This program provides students the opportunity to not only study native fish and plants in our area, but also allows them to be proactive about restoring native habitats that are vital to wildlife in our region,” said Morgan Beaty, a fourth grade teacher at Hockinson Heights Elementary School. “My hope is that students will feel a sense of ownership over their research, problem-solving, and teamwork within their community, and ultimately recognize the difference they can make.”

Students gain valuable opportunities to meet environmental educators, restoration ecologists, field technicians and others working in the field of science.

The mission of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership is to restore and care for the waters and ecosystems of the lower Columbia River for current and future generations of fish, wildlife and people. The partnership achieves education and stewardship goals for both the Hockinson School District and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, to inspire youth to recognize the direct impact of their actions and become invested in protecting the local environment.