Since our formation in 1997, education has been a pillar of our mission and a fundamental component of our work to restore salmon habitat and support a resilient community. Over the last two years, we’ve developed a unique partnership with Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors (ECO) to bring engaging ecology curriculum related to Oregon state standards to classrooms throughout the Mapleton, Siuslaw and Reedsport school districts and to pair the classroom education with field experiences throughout the watershed. These field experiences will connect local students with local natural resources professionals and open new pathways and opportunities for careers stewarding our natural resources and staying in our community. We’re also consulting with the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians to ensure that the place-based curriculum we are bringing to local schools is relevant in traditional ecological knowledge and informed from a perspective which was gained from folks who have lived in our area for thousands of years since time immemorial. The SWC and ECO have been fundraising and grant writing to hire an Education and Outreach Coordinator at the SWC to lead this programming and have finally received enough funds to welcome our newest staff member, Alysia Downs, who will be spearheading this effort! It is due to the commitment of our membership through their generous financial support, and through volunteer time and energy that we’ve been able to support this program, and through granting organizations including the Chambers Foundation, Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund, Trust Management Services, Banner Bank, PeaceHealth and Oregon Pacific Bank.