Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices

Chapter 13: Involving Local School Systems in Watershed Restoration: Crooked River of Oregon

D. A. Nolte

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569049.ch13

Five years ago two visionary teachers in the Crook County School District, located in Prineville, Oregon, recognized that education could play an important role in the recovery of the Crooked River basin. Both teachers had grown up in the watershed. Through their own life experiences, they had seen a decline in resource values that were important to them—water quality and quantity and recreational opportunities, particularly trout angling. They recognized that “to have stewardship, we must experience it” T. Huntley, Crook County High School, personal communication).

As these two teachers shared their educational concepts with local, state, and federal staff, private landowners, and businesses, it was apparent that there was no coordinated effort to provide Crook County students and adults with hands-on, real-world learning experiences in the natural resources. Their challenge, then, was to create a framework in which people from the watershed could come together for a restoration project that also provided meaningful educational opportunities. This framework would avoid a disjointed watershed recovery process that lacked a long-term foundation in the local community.