Watershed Learning Project - 5th Grade

The Watershed Learning Project provides nine days of fun, memorable and creative learning experiences in nature for public school fifth grade students. Students gain appreciation and awareness of the diversity of life around them and learn to value the need for conservation. In this program students begin to realize their power as individuals to make a positive difference in the world. Leadership principles are skillfully integrated throughout the curriculum.

Rivers & Birds conducts a 9-day program for 5th grade students. This educational experience includes:

  • Three days in classroom laboratories learning the properties of water and its effects in nature;
  • Six days in nature exploring water issues in different environmental and cultural contexts; and
  • Mentoring by local resource specialists (e.g. archaeologists, fire ecologists, geologists, wildlife biologists, biologist, mayordomos, Native American biologists, and town managers).

This adventure-based program is aligned with 5th Grade Standards for science, math, language arts, and social studies.

From the Students

“I think this program is important because the more we know, the more we can do to help the earth.”
-Lindsay Swift, 5th Grade, Costilla Elementary,Costilla, New Mexico

“I have to admit the field trips were fun even though we still have to learn because you made it that way. I will always remember what you taught us.”
-Billy Best, 5th Grade,Enos Garcia Elementary,Taos, New Mexico

“I think that to come up with such an interesting program for kids, you must really like us. Thank you for all you have done for us.”
-Jocelyn Caren, 5th Grade,Enos Garcia Elementary,Taos, New Mexico

From Public School Teachers

“A girl in Special Education whose mother won't let her play outside (because her mom 'thinks she'll get sick'), who gets panic attacks and has had bad asthma for years, finally gets to put on the waders. She has been waiting for her turn patiently. We are at the Rio Fernando wetlands and she wants to find a frog. I had to call her mom and delicately convince her that her daughter would be fine on the field trip and that I would make sure she had her inhaler and everything would be OK. In fact, it was better than OK. This beautiful little girl - who loved being outside - opened like a water-lily as the Rivers & Birds program progressed.

After that experience, she attended school more often (she had horrible attendance in years past), had less and less asthma and panic attacks, and, in general, thrived. I think this change was due in large part to the time she spent out and about with your program. All little flowers need watering after all!”
-Jason Weisfield, Fifth grade Full Inclusion Teacher, Enos Garcia Elementary

“Our field investigations were especially gratifying in that the students were able to apply what they learned in the classroom to actual scientific observation in the field.”
-Manuel Aguilar, Fifth Grade Teacher Ranchos Elementary School Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

“The Rivers & Birds Program provides activities that supplement and enrich classroom curriculum. Through this program, my students are kept engaged in a healthy learning environment that will follow them into the future.”
-Priscilla Romo, Fifth Grade Teacher Enos Garcia Elementary Taos, New Mexico

“I know that I am not alone when I say that the Rivers & Birds Program has been a welcoming experience because it not only enhances our students’ minds, but it also allows teachers an advantage to experience and learn from a different perspective.”
-Linda Howley, 5th Grade Teacher Gonzales Elementary Santa Fe, New Mexico