Creeks as Classrooms
The Anchorage Waterways Council (AWC) partnered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2008 to develop a Creeks as Classrooms model for the Anchorage School District (ASD). Year one built on AWC’s relationship and experience with Polaris K-12, where a successful program continued to evolve. Begich Middle School and King Career Center, both located very close to Chester Creek, participated in the pilot program along with Polaris K-12. Year two was funded again by the USFWS and the Bullitt Foundation.
Since 2011 ConocoPhillips has provided a $20,000 grant every year to continue and expand the program. In 2012-2013 nearly 3,000 students and campers were provided with creekside education. These include Rogers Park Elementary, Chugach Optional School Scoouts, Polaris K12, Girdwood K-8, Romig Middle school, Trailside Elementary, Eagle River Nature Center, Mears Middle School, Begich Middle School, and camps including the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) Academy, UAA STEM Program, ADF&G youth camps, Indian Enrichment Program (Begich Middle School), Trailside Discovery Camp, Kincaid Adventure Camp, 4H Club, and Russian Jack Explorer's Club.
Funded again for 2014, AWC worked with over 2,500 youth during the school year and summer. Summer camps with the Municipality, Water Discovery Day at Campbell Creek Science Center, an Environmental/Science event for Girl Scouts at Kiwanis Fish Creek Park, and a study of Chester Creek and Westchester Lagoon with Steller Secondary. In the successive two years, AWC led a variety of hands-on creek explorations to nearly 10,000 local students and campers.
Unfortunately, our long-term funder ConocoPhillips was unable to sponsor this great program in 2016. We are still able to work with some schools before our funding runs out.
Thank you ConocoPhillips for your financial support.
If you would like to see a short video made by 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students from Girdwood K-8 in 2012, click here.
AWC's 2013 Annual Meeting focused on this program, and the presentations by students can be viewed at the following links.
Opening Remarks and Presentation by AWC Intern Shannon Lamasko