Engaging the next generation of watershed stewards
At the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, we believe that community education is at the core of long-term conservation and watershed protection. With our education program, The Upstream Project, we provide hands-on stewardship experiences that are designed to educate and inspire students of all ages to participate in streamside science, creative writing, music, and art projects.
Through education, we guide local students to forge a lifelong, caretaking bond with our home watershed. By helping students develop a sense of place while they also foster an informed sense of environmental stewardship, we seek to ensure the health of Central Oregon’s rivers and streams for generations.
“One action can create a chain reaction and, soon, hopefully everyone will want to take care of the place I am blessed to call home.”
~Sisters High School Student
We invite students of all ages to participate in discovery-based watershed experiences through dynamic education programs that are directly linked to current innovative curricula and state mandated learning standards. All of our environmental education program materials and projects are structured to accomplish the goals and objectives defined by the Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan.
We work collaboratively with many local partners to connect youth to the natural world. We are one of the founding partner organizations of the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon. As one way to increase momentum for more outdoor education opportunities for children of all ages and abilities, the Children’s Forest offers support for our environmental education activities throughout the year.
Hometown Waters connects youth to their home watershed. Through meaningful educational experiences, we guide central Oregon students to develop hands-on knowledge about Tumalo Creek, Whychus Creek, or the Deschutes River.
Through Student Stewardship Projects, we guide students to form a sense of place through integrated creative writing, art, and science into meaningful hands-on stewardship and stream restoration.
We coordinate Students Speak: A Watershed Summit annually in May. A select group of students from several local schools are invited to take the stage to present their watershed projects.