Tasha Kiemel teaches 4th grade at Discovery Elementary School in
Sammamish, Washington, and she serves on the National Environmental
Education Week (EE Week) Teachers Advisory Committee. EE Week promotes
understanding and protection of the natural world by actively engaging
K-12th grade students and educators in an inspired week of
environmental learning before Earth Day. This year’s EE Week
celebration occurs April 12-18, 2009, and the theme is Be Water Wise!
To learn more or get involved, visit www.eeweek.org.
Wetlands can provide all sorts of learning opportunities for young learners. From practicing observation skills, identifying native plants and animals, and monitoring water sources, the wetland behind Discovery Elementary School in Sammamish, WA, is a true outdoor science classroom.
The most recent project underway in the wetland involves streambed restoration. Several years ago, the city put in a boardwalk along the southern border of the wetland, causing extreme damage to a natural streambed. Up until this past fall, the streambed was not flowing naturally and relied on the assistance of a tarp. Amphibians and other water life could not make a home in this type of unnatural habitat. It was a call to action.