Restoration Site: San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Our connection with STRAW has been the backbone of our environmental studies this year.  The students have been able to see our delicate ecosystem first hand.  With the help of STRAW staff, they learned about the salt marsh and how the environment has changed and endangered species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse and clapper rail.  They studied food chains and interdependence, and they were excited to work planting native plants.  They learned about the connections between organisms in a habitat. They also relished the real work and developed a greater understanding of teamwork and accomplishment.  Many of the parents who helped with the restoration were surprised by the children’s understanding of scientific concepts and their stamina for doing work that meant something to them.

Please enjoy our students’ work – you may click on the links above to view work associated with two class projects. 

We were also able to work with the Trout in the Classroom Project.  The students were so amazed at the arrival of the tiny rainbow trout eggs.  As the eggs developed, the children carefully monitored the conditions of our tank. They learned which natural conditions we were trying to mimic and experienced first hand the effect of changes.  This helped them to see how important it is to maintain the balance in the trout’s natural habitat.  Our release of the trout into their natural environment was a great celebration.

Through their connection with STRAW and its partner projects, the students are learning to look at their natural world in a different light.  They observe carefully and use their natural curiosity to understand the interconnectedness of all living things.  They are growing to be responsible stewards of the earth.  In an era of education focused on measurement and statistics, the STRAW program helps teachers keep what is essential in the forefront.

“Progress can also be measured by our interactions with nature and its preservation. Can we teach children to look at a flower and see all the things it represents: beauty, the health of an ecosystem, and the potential for healing? ”    —Richard Louv,  HYPERLINK “” Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Links to Students’ Work: Point Reyes Bird Observatory and Trout in the Classroom Project.