Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Supports Field-Based Education for Local Students

Cabela’s Outdoor Fund has awarded the McKenzie Watershed Council (MWC) $1,300 to support environmental education efforts with local area middle sc20131007_130702hool and high school students. The principal focus of the education program is to provide a hands-on, inquiry- and field-based education centered in watershed assessment, monitoring and enhancement projects for students. The MWC is partnering with Springfield School District middle and high schools, McKenzie High School and Mohawk High School through various education programs.

“We’re fortunate in the Willamette Valley to have the McKenzie Watershed Council that not only is protecting and improving our watersheds, but also helping to share their knowledge of how important the McKenzie River is to our ecosystem and surrounding communities. Cabela’s is excited to support their educational programs and curriculum with a Cabela’s Outdoor Fund Grant and we look forward to continuing our long-term partnership, which will provide educational and recreational opportunities for our youth, community and visitors,” noted Cabela’s retail marketing manager Daniel Beraldo.

Funds awarded by Cabela’s Outdoor Fund will be used to replace old and damaged boots and waders essential for the field-based lessons with students this school year and beyond. Students will use the new equipment through participation in activities and projects ranging from aquatic and riparian habitat assessment and enhancement, to invasive vegetation removal and large wood placement. Students gain a thorough understanding of the complexity, successes, and challenges of watershed restoration. Project activities focus on water quality monitoring, aquatic habitat assessments, riparian habitat assessments, fish presence/absence monitoring and restoration projects ranging from riparian to in-stream projects. Data generated by the student teams can be used as an effective outreach tool to private landowners and is shared with cooperating public and private entities in an effort to inform and develop future restoration projects.

The MWC education programs have expanded exponentially since 2007. This has allowed for more students to participate and create a greater impact on the next generation of watershed stewards. Cabela’s Outdoor Fund joins other funders including Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Community Foundation, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Fish Restoration & Enhancement Program and private donations in creating this unique and special opportunity for the youth in our area. Without their continued support the important work would not be possible. To learn more about the McKenzie Watershed Council various education programs contact Justin Demeter at, or to make a contribution contact Amanda Wilson at or 458-201-8150.