Lundy 5th Grade students take to the trails in Elijah Bristow State Park to survey water quality and aquatic species. Watershed Rangers, students in 5th Grade, generally focus on human impact in the local ecology, understanding downstream impacts, water quality indicators, and mitigation. Students visit local dam sites, water and sewage treatment plants. Students also learn how and why invasive plants spread, and why loss of native vegetation is so detrimental to habitats and water quality.
For the past 10 years, the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council has worked with partners and local teachers to provide hands-on, interactive, place-based watershed science education in the Middle Fork Willamette watershed, focusing on Oakridge, Pleasant Hill, and Lowell schools. The program is a labor of love, and would not be possible without the support of the numerous teachers, volunteers, partners and agencies, such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, USFS Middle Fork Ranger District, Oregon State Parks, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Springfield Utility Board, Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah, Friends of Fall Creek, and Cities of Oakridge and Lowell.