The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, or SPAWN, is Cascade Canyon School’s Ocean Guardian Grant partner, and we have had a great time working with them to help fulfill their grant requirements. Students are learning how they can protect local watersheds and the oceans through ecological restoration. The 4/5th grade and 7th grade Cascade Canyon classes began working with SPAWN in late fall of 2018 by coming out to Samuel P. Taylor State Park to collect redwood cones and see spawning fish. In January, both classes sowed native seeds of redwoods and pollinator plants. Students are caring for the seedlings on a propagation bench right outside of their science classroom. They’ll donate the plants back to SPAWN at the end of the school year for use in our restoration projects.
Students from Cascade Canyon visited the Tocaloma floodplain restoration site twice in March! During the first visit, students toured the site, learning how to create great fish habitat, and then helped revegetate the site with Red Fescue (Festuca rubra) grass plugs. During the second visit to the restoration site, students learned more about the life cycle of salmon, looked for fish along newly created side-stream channels (and found some!), demonstrated knowledge of what creates excellent fish habitat, and learned how to assess water quality through sampling benthic macroinvertebrates.
For their final field trip with SPAWN this year, the 4th/5th grade class will join us at the Bay Model. In addition to viewing the working model of the Bay, students will view the photography exhibit ‘Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change’, learn about pollinators and their native host plants, and make seed balls for use in our restoration projects. For their final project Cascade Canyon students are working on an interactive (light, sound, screen) model of the newly restored Tocaloma floodplain. We can’t wait to see their model in action!