Friday, March 21, 2014

What'd I miss - March Edition?

Well Andy Andrews covered my butt at the last meeting and filed the following at my request [thanks again Andy!]; besides the normal goings on Lizanne Saunders of the World Salmon Council made the presentation. I had asked Andy in particular to fill in since I know he has been rewarded numerous times in the past through his participation with the Salmon Watch program.

Lizanne gave a short description of the development of the World Salmon Council......
and their mission, which is to revitalize the Salmon Watch program in the Pacific Northwest. The Salmon Watch program is over 20 years old and has educated over 60,000 children in four areas of our environment. Middle school and high school students receive information on salmon biology, macro invertebrates, water quality and the riparian environment and how they all tie together for our benefit.

The children arrive at a stream side site by bus with their teacher in tow. They are divided into groups and rotate through the four classes being given by volunteer instructors (I do my best to teach macro's). As a volunteer, you usually give two back to back classes before lunch and two classes after the lunch break, with each class being about 45 minutes long. The children have always been well mannered and they come willing to learn.

The students who arrive may not have even been on a family picnic so the 'out of doors' is a new environment for them. They arrive as a open book with no writing in it, but ready to learn from you. As a volunteer, you write the book that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. For most of the students, it is a field trip and a learning experience they will not soon forget. And as a volunteer, I feel very satisfied that I have opened a very important door of everyday life for these kids that they would never have seen without my help. None of us could survive for long without a healthy water system, and that fact is brought home to these kids through this program. Most of the outings will require you to drive about one hour from Portland.

To join as a volunteer in the Salmon Watch program, contact the World Salmon Council or call 503 - 516 - 3104. You will be required to join one training session, with one given in August and an alternate date will be given for one in September. Don't wait until the last minute on this as there is also a required form clearing you to work with children.