The Diack Family Oregon Ecology Education Program

A Division of Oregon Science Teachers Association

Tualatin River Investigation and Field Guide

Janet Bechtold, TAG Teacher
400 N. Sherwood Blvd.
Sherwood, OR 97140

The United State Fish and Wildlife Service needed a “kid friendly” field guide for the future Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood fifth & sixth graders were up to the task and more. Teachers know students can accomplish amazing things but even they were impressed by the professional work from their students.

For the past few years, this group has been working on several “clean water” projects in their community including an area designated as the future Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge. Then a variety of grants provided funs for the students to create the guide. Students helped research plants and animals on the refuge with field science equipment funded by Diack Ecology Education Program.

After much of the research was complete, students joined an after school “Refuge Club” to refine the information and work with the science and technology teachers to develop a professional field guide. For a year and a half, they worked closely with the USFWS, rewriting sections in accordance with the agency’s needs. The students also promoted the opening of the refuge and distributed their guidebook at various community festivals. The guidebook will be provided to each refuge visitor.

Returning to the refuge for additional research was a key motivator in volunteering for the after-school club, but the students admitted that even the long hours spent writing and designing were worth it. We know the Sherwood students learned a lot about a special place in their community. They learned more about working together for their community and making it a better place.

What Diack Funded

Field supplies including spotting scopes, microscopes, binoculars, plant press, field guides

Partnerships and Other Funding Sources
Friends of Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge US Fish and Wildlife Service Metro Greenspaces Education Grants City of Sherwood Sherwood School District

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