The Eel River Recovery Project uses a tried and true organizing tactic: engage, enlighten and empower. Since our inception we have helped host numerous educational events for the public on topics of water, fire, forest health and Wilderness. We also work with public schools to engage students to interest them in natural resources career paths and to connect them to the Eel River so they will be better stewards. Main school education projects have been with Van Duzen River schools and Round Valley Elementary School (RVES), although we visit classrooms throughout the basin.
Van Duzen River Basin
The Friends of the Van Duzen River (FOVDR) has won several grants from the U.S. Forest Service to work with schools throughout the watershed. ERRP also participated in these More Kids in the Woods grant projects where hundreds of students visited the river, learned about science, did artwork, wrote poetry and even made videos. See the FOVDR Education Page. Read FOVDR Director Sal Steinberg report. Habitat reports based on student surveys are also available. Lower Grizzly Creek bed shift raised questions about redd stability and a report was created to document change.
Round Valley Elementary School
We have been visiting RVES since 2014 and done whole day teaching events in conjunction with the Salmon Awareness Festival at the school several times. We also participate in Earth Day in cooperation with the Round Valley Indian Tribes Environmental Protection Agency. The Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission awarded us two grants to work with teachers and take every student to Mill Creek (ERRP 2016). Our second grant was the Town Creek Education and Restoration project (2018 final report, Town Creek Restoration Plan. See the salmon parade video from 2014 Salmon Awareness Fest. Salmon banner provided by Dorje Bond of Intents and Laytonville Elementary School.
Community Education Events
Water education has been one our areas of emphasis and three Water Day events, were held at the Mateel and Earth, Water & Fire Day in 2015. Public workshops continued throughout the basin on water conservation and water pollution prevention under our Eel River Outreach and Education project in 2015-2016. We also partner with the Round Valley Indian Tribes to hold the Salmon Awareness Festival in fall at the Hidden Oaks Park in Covelo. Salmon is cooked around the traditional pit and we get a cultural education that sometimes includes Native dances and song. We also do education and outreach outdoors at the park and have sometimes held workshops in conjunction (see Forest Health).