Education and Outreach
At Takshanuk Watershed Council we know how essential it it to get people outside and engaging with the natural world. Our hands-on, inquiry based methods provide educational experiences through the exploration of the local trails, streams, and ecosystems that make up the Chilkat Valley. This approach has many positive outcomes that promote a deeper connection to the natural world.Research indicates that Nature-Based Learning (NBL) can have tremendously beneficial impacts on participants' lives regardless of grade level or age, and has numerous educational and social emotional advantages. When participants make connection with the natural world, they are making connections between their homes, communities, and regions; therefore learning more about the place where they live and their relationship to it. Our educational efforts at TWC strive to be in alignment with NBL, and our educational approach uses the natural environment as the context for learning..
Marvin School Garden
Marvin Garden is a collaborative project between TWC and the Haines School. Food waste, from the cafeteria, is collected by 6th grade students and composted at the Marvin Garden composting facility. Over 14,000 pounds of food waste have been turned into nutrient-rich, compost since the program began in 2008. The compost is used to grow food in Marvin's Garden for the school cafeteria. Each year, students from the Haines School visit the garden in the spring to help plant the beds. During Garden Summer Camp they care for the plants and in the fall they harvest the bounty and deliver it to the school cafeteria. The garden generates more than 200 pounds of food for the school each year.
Apples and Bears
TWC, in partnership with the Great Bear Foundation and ADF&G, offer free bear safety classes, electric fence set-up tutorials, and recruit volunteers to remove bear attractants from community members yards to protect personal property and wildlife.
Apples and Bears connects local volunteers with fruit tree owners to remove bear attractants (fruit) from local's fruit trees. All the fruit, both on the tree and on the ground is removed. The inedible fruit is composted and the edible fruit is divided between the volunteers and the tree owners. If you are interested in volunteering or own fruit trees and need assistance with harvesting, please fill out this form. This program also provides electric fence education. Check out our electric fence guide here.
Chilkat Forest Investigators
An afterschool program that gets elementary and middle school students outside on field trips into the forests, muskegs, and intertidal zone to discover how each ecosystem works. Chilkat Forest Investigators is wildly popular, and led by Mario Benassi.
Stream Team is a citizen science program that uses the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) protocols to teach students about stream monitoring. During the summer, participants conduct measurements and learn more about local watersheds. During the school year, students take weekly stream measurements and receive monthly watershed education lessons from TWC's education coordinator. During these visits students participate in hands-on explorations to learn more about the importance of watershed health. Lessons include education about spawning requirements, watershed health, and environmental stewardship.
This 5-minute program airs on KHNS 102.3 FM every week and teaches the listener more about the land and water that surround them and their relationship with the natural world. This series first aired in 2007 and ran for several years. TWC in partnership with KHNS and the Crossett Foundation are delighted to bring back this educational series with a mixture of new episodes and re-runs from the past. In an effort to get students involved, TWC is teaming up with Outdoor English Class at the Haines School. Students research a natural phenomenon that occurs in the Chilkat Valley and create their own Watershed Weekly episode to share their findings. Episodes run on KHNS 102.3 FM every Saturday at 11am AST, or find them here.
Partnering with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, TWC is now able to offer standards-based curriculum for students in grades K-12 with a focus on outdoor education and snow-science. The nationally recognized curriculum includes fun outdoor exploration and provides participants with a deeper connection to winter wildlands. The SnowSchool program aims to inspire a lifelong interest in exploring the wonders of winter. Thus the curriculum that accompanies the program is designed to match the interest and abilities of individuals as they progress through school.