Who we are
The Salmon Stewards of Lane County, in partnership with McKenzie Watershed Council provide a holistic, multi-disciplinary and watershed-based approach to environmental education, using salmon as the representative species of watershed health and the cultural icon of the Pacific Northwest. Through hands-on stream-side participation, our programs seek to instill a deeper understanding of each person’s relationship to their local watershed, reconnecting communities to the natural world.
The Salmon Stewards steering committee guides and provides oversight for the area program and is made up of local concerned volunteers and agency personnel.The local area program activities are coordinated by Jennifer Weber, the Education Coordinator at the McKenzie Watershed Council.
What we do
Salmon Watch is an experiential, environmental education curriculum centered in salmon ecology. Local middle and high school teachers use in-class curriculum covering the salmon life cycle and ecological needs of salmon to teach everything from science and math to literature and history. In the field trip component of this curriculum, volunteer educators teach local students about salmon and watershed ecology through the use of four education stations. Focusing on water quality, riparian ecology, fish biology and macroinvertebrates, students perform field-based activities and experiments, and then record observations. These trips are school-based and occur Monday-Friday.
Volunteers are integral to the success of this program and come from a variety of sources and backgrounds; local government agencies and utility companies, outdoor sporting groups, retired teachers, recent graduates and college students. Volunteering with the Salmon Watch program provides an opportunity to teach in an informal setting, network with “green” industry professionals and best of all, provide an opportunity for local area students to get out of the classroom and out on to our local streams and rivers.
The Salmon Celebration is a community event celebrating the return of the salmon to our northwest rivers. In addition to salmon, the McKenzie River watershed also provides sustenance for birds, frogs, salamanders, foxes, deer, bugs, and countless trees, shrubs, and flowers. We depend on these same waters to provide electricity for our homes, irrigation for our crops, livelihoods for our fishermen, and a place for our families to play, picnic, camp and hike. This event provides a variety of hands-on activities and entertainment that give attendees the opportunity to discover and appreciate the complex river ecosystem and the significance of salmon to the people of the Northwest.
For over 20 years, students in Lane County have participated in Salmon Watch field trips and we are excited to invite the community to participate in those same experiences at the Salmon Celebration. Visitors will be be able to view the awesome spectacle of salmon spawning, volunteer educators will provide hands-on learning opportunities including macroinvertebrate identification, water quality, riparian ecology, as well as learn the significance of salmon, the cultural icon of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the educational opportunities, there will also be Gyotaku fish printing, a children’s art contest, Native American storytelling, and live music. Bring a picnic to enjoy.
How to contact us
Education Coordinator, McKenzie Watershed Council, PO Box 70166, Springfield, OR 97475