*This project is currently not active for 2017
The Living Wetlands integrated program offers students a deeper look at the issues surrounding the health of the South Bay wetlands. Following a one-period classroom presentation, the students attend a field trip to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso. Olinder Elementary School students engaged in interactive environmental science activities during the classroom presentations and field trip. Activities involved watershed literacy including the local Water Treatment Plant, endangered species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse, pollution prevention activities such as guessing
how long something takes to decompose once thrown away, wastewater, and water conservation. With assisted guidance from SJSU Biodiversity Club students, the tour of the area included learning about the different habitats and natural plants found along the walkways.
By the Numbers | 2015-16
3 SJSU students engaged
70 residents engaged
20 hours of service
During the tour, students were educated about the water, the nearby salt marsh, the plants, and even the decomposing animal bodies. Although the students were aware the refuge was to serve as a site of protection for the animals, they learned the protection put in place was to safeguard them against humans, not the other animals themselves, who may harm each other in nature. This lesson on nature’s animal food chain was a highlight of the trip. The wetlands tour provided sound engaged learning outside the typical classroom curriculum and gave students the chance to engage in real field work at the wetlands.
“Programs like Living Wetlands provide a unique opportunity for school children in Downtown San José. It was such a great feeling to hear the students answer many of the tour guide’s questions correctly. Hearing about habitats of different species and the importance of having a protected area in our region was a great learning opportunity for the kids. The kids were taught about local efforts to conserve water and about the local treatment plant.”