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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

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Engaging Youth in Conservation

Youth Program Overview

The Skagit Land Trust education staff work hard to bring members of the community onto properties throughout the year. From tree plantings at the Cumberland Creek Conservation Area with visiting EarthCorp crews, to teaching about invasive species on the Skagit Youth Conservation Tour at Pomona Grange, Trust staff introduce the next generation of Skagit land stewards to natural places and conservation practices needed to care for the land.

The Conservation Classrooms element of our youth program gets classes and youth groups learning on the land at Trust properties. Twelve schools and youth groups participated in the program in 2017. Activities included forest monitoring, wildlife lifecycles, plant identification, and stewardship projects.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Today's youth are the future leaders and stewards of our natural heritage. Like many conservation organizations, Skagit Trust's membership lacked youth and diversity. Young people will have increasing influence on public policy, land use planning, funding and legislation that affect our environment and natural world. Several years ago we recognized that an ongoing challenge and opportunity for the Trust was to engage young people in our work.

Today and into the future, Skagit Land Trust will expand engagement with diverse audiences and introduce younger generations to the many values of nature conservation and stewardship.

Engaging Youth in Conservation

In the news! Saving Land: Summer 2017 Youth Stewardship

2016 - 2017 Program Year Examples

Skagit Valley College Internship Program: Skagit Land Trust sponsored 4 interns from the new four-year Environmental Conservation Program at Skagit Valley College.

A new partnership was developed with middle school students at two Skagit County Boys & Girls Clubs. Visits with clubs extended into the summer; we met with the Clubs and invited kids out onto the land to keep their minds and stewardship active during summer break.

During the school year Emerson High School, Mt Vernon, undertakes bi-monthly field trips with Skagit Land Trust to learn and engage in stewardship activities on our conservation areas. Students from the Natural Resource Class plant trees, remove invasive species, map our properties and learn leadership skills. These are youth who typically do not experience nature with many never having been in a wild area. Students are given pre and post surveys which show substantial increases in their environmental stewardship awareness.

2017 and Beyond.....

Skagit Land Trust has expanded our Engaging Youth in Conservation program to include an outdoor classroom component. Conservation Classrooms invites youth groups, organizations, and school classes out to Trust-owned Conservation Areas near their communities for experiential learning in a natural setting. These outdoor classrooms further engage youth in natural sciences and can be used to teach many components of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) curriculum; while promoting lifelong stewardship ethics.

Check out the details of a few outdoor classrooms and contact us today to find a Conservation Classroom near you!

Lyman Elementary Conservation Classroom

Above: Kindergarten and fifth grade students from Lyman Elementary partnered together to record observations from their field trip to Lyman Slough Conservation area as part of the Conservation Classrooms program.

Conservation Classroom Locations

Barney LakeMount Vernon School District

· Centrally located in Mount Vernon with parking options for bus or vanpool

· Ideal for K-12 participation

· Multiple access points for various activities and ecosystems

· Great natural area in an urban environment

Green Road Marsh - Burlington – Edison School District

· Just northeast of I-5 and Cook Road, parking options for bus or vanpool

· Extreme seasonal variability, dynamic plant and animal interactions

· Observable features to compare and contrast with surrounding agricultural area

Little Mountain Darvill Easement– Mount Vernon School District

· Located to the south of Little Mountain Park, trail is on private land conserved for its natural values

· Opportunities to steward public hiking trails, learn about citizen involvement and forest ecology

· Ideal for middle to high school ages

· Parking limited, bus drop-off recommended

Tope Ryan - Sedro –Woolley School District

· Between I-5 and Highway 9 along the Samish River, parking options for bus or vanpool

· The first Conservation Area of the Land Trust, is ever-changing with the help of beavers and tree plantings

· Great for nature journaling, bird and plant identification, water quality topics

· Ideal for smaller groups and is more accessible in winter/spring

Utopia - Sedro –Woolley School District

· East of Sedro – Woolley, between Skagit River and Highway 20

· This old channel of the Skagit River is a high functioning floodplain

· Restoration includes plantings, wildlife features and scenic beauty

· Ideal for K-12 and can accommodate large groups, parking or drop-off options

Educator Resources:

Map of Conservation Classrooms - Map_ConsClassrooms_SchoolDistricts_Aug2017.pdf

Transportation Scholarship Application.pdf

STEAM Educator Resource Guide 1st Edition 2017

Do you have experience with youth program development, and an interest in helping guide Skagit Land Trust into the next phase of our Youth Program?

Contact Stacy today to begin building 'teach the teacher' outdoor classroom kits to use this fall.

Youth engagement on Skagit lands continues to grow! 

2013 - 2014 :  80 + students

2014 - 2015 :  100 + students

2015 - 2016 :  400 + students

2016 - 2017 : 615 + students

2017 - 2018 : 1240 + students