Our Earth Stewardship Program brings a diversity of natural resource professionals into 7th grade classes from Darby to Lone Rock throughout the school year to teach about natural resource science, conservation, and stewardship ethics. We cover topics like watershed science, native fish biology, fire resilience, irrigation, wildlife habitats, and more. Then, these same experts gather ‘in the field’ in May as 7th graders cycle through various stations to put their skills and knowledge to work in real settings. Students may find themselves collecting and processing macroinvertebrates from the stream, mimicking the full life cycle of a native trout, or measuring stream flows.

This program is made possible by support from incredible community volunteers and partners from organizations like Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Bitterroot Audubon Society, Ravalli County Weed District and more. Email alex@bitterrootwater.org with questions about the Earth Stewardship Program and you’ll be connected with Becky Burg, our ESP Coordinator.¬†

Children today spend half as much time playing outside as their parents did. Our connection with our natural environment, and our capacity to care for it so it provides for us, is dramatically declining. With this disconnect, our mental, emotional, and physical health declines, too.

In response to this alarm, we are investing in the future and those who will take care of this place after we are gone. The Water Partnership hosts and facilitates learning programs that help our neighbors and youth learn about our natural systems, their dependence on healthy water systems and, most importantly, the joys and wonders of nature. Then, we provide them with expert advice and tools they can use to become an agent of conservation, and take action to take care of our natural resources and community. Our long-running Earth Stewardship Program is one such opportunity we have to lead conservation learning in our Valley.