From The Telluride Watch (Martinique Davis):
[Water Education Program] is a free resource for local schools and teachers located in the San Miguel River Watershed. WEP provides full-day and overnight programs directly related to their classroom curriculum and tied to the Colorado State Standards, explains Telluride Institute’s Watershed Education Program Director Laura Kudo.
“The San Miguel River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Colorado, and boasts riparian ecosystems that are home to flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world,” Kudo says, describing the WEP experience as one that simply cannot be replicated indoors. “This gets students into the real-life classroom… providing unique hands-on learning opportunities.”
On Monday, all 60 of Telluride’s seventh graders explored their eye-popping, real-life classroom, listening to the barks of resident prairie dogs, seeing the handiwork of dam-building beavers and getting a quick history lesson about the Valley Floor and the San Miguel River from Telluride Open Space Commission and Town Councilmembers Bob Saunders and David Oyster.
“We’re witnessing the return of these prairie dogs’ natural predators,” Saunders told the group, as they stood watching the critters peek up out of their dens and scurry to new holes, referring to the recent emergence of badgers on the Valley Floor, and the raptors drawn to its recently erected Raptor Poles…
The tour features local speakers and experts like State of Colorado Department of Natural Resource’s Camille Price and Idarado Mining Co.’s Joe Smart, Town of Telluride’s Program Manager Lance McDonald and San Miguel County Parks Supervisor Rich Hamilton, as well as the Telluride Institute’s Kudo. The speakers share their knowledge about the area’s natural, cultural, and human history, watershed geography, regional geology, and river ecology, Kudo says, the purpose of which is “to inform the students that live in our Watershed how people and places interact with and shape one another, and why this interdependence is important and relevant to them.”
More education coverage here.