Friends of the Santa Clara River (FSCR) won a $40,000 grant to bring Ventura County school students to the River and coast under the outdoor education program titled Santa Clara River Scholars. The program will serve over 2,000 students in underserved communities from five elementary and middle schools in the River corridor over three academic years. Funding for the Santa Clara River Scholars will be provided by State Coastal Conservancy from the Explore the Coast program.
“The Scholars will build a community of stewards to ensure they appreciate local resources such as the beach, estuary, and river. Scholars will leave with an understanding of how the river and local ecology are tied to their water supply, and enjoyment of the coast.” explains Jim Danza, Chair of Friends of the Santa Clara River.
Education, enjoyment and stewardship are key features built into each of the field trips. Students will travel to the Ventura settling ponds and Santa Clara River Estuary to observe wildlife, learn native plant and habitat basics, take time to perform a beach clean-up activity, and put it all together to learn how external factors affect the river and coastal environments. Holly Wright, FSCR education coordinator reveals, “Kids who know where urban run-off goes or what it means to restore riparian vegetation are quick to take action and make lasting stewardship lifestyle choices.”
Since 1993, Friends of the Santa Clara River’s mission is to protect and preserve the cultural and biological resources of the Santa Clara River Watershed.
Contact: Nina Danza, Program Manager for Friends of the Santa Clara River