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Conservation Classrooms in the News

Clear Lake students spend day in outdoor classroom

by Skagit Valley Herald reporter Kimberly Cauvel

Surrounded by the greenery of the Skagit Land Trust's Utopia Conservation Area, dozens of second-graders learned last week to take a closer look at their surroundings.

When asked by land trust staff what they saw, Clear Lake Elementary second-grader Livia Kiesecker's immediate response was, "Trees. Lots and lots of trees."

Large trees, small trees, pine trees and leafy trees are found throughout the 88-acre property along the Skagit River near Lyman. The trees are surrounded by grasses taller than most second-graders, streams and, as the students learned during a Conservation Classroom tour, lots of wildlife.

The Skagit Land Trust's Conservation Classrooms program provides area educators with opportunities to bring their students onto land trust properties to teach them about nature and the environment, said land trust Outreach Program Coordinator Lisa Miller.

"What really sets Conservation Classrooms apart ... is the connections that kids can make being out on the land," she said. "This is that first step in getting them to develop a love for the land here in Skagit or wherever they may go."

The Skagit Land Trust started developing the Conservation Classroom program in 2015, and it fully launched in 2017, allowing teachers to use various land trust properties as outdoor classrooms, Miller said.

Clear Lake second-graders who explored the Utopia Conservation Area last week were the 24th group to use the program, Miller said.

Click here to read the full story and see pictures

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