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Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program. Training Future Leaders to Save America’s Treasure. Goals of the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program. To instill within students the complexities and consequences of continued unprecedented loss of wetlands on the citizens of Louisiana,

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Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program Training Future Leaders to Save America’s Treasure

    2. Goals of the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program • To instill within students the complexities and consequences of continued unprecedented loss of wetlands on the citizens of Louisiana, • To instill in students that they are ambassadors for responsible environmental stewardship of Louisiana’s natural resources, and • To encourage forward thinking, that results in positive actions, in demonstrating that “Louisiana’s wetland loss is the nation’s wetland loss.”

    3. Objectives of the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program • Develop hands-on environmental based lesson plans for grades 4-12 • Provide opportunities for service-learning wetland restoration activities • Provide field-based, hands-on experiences to youth during organized restoration projects held across the state and during participation in overnight camps • Conduct trainings for educators and provide in-classroom and field assistance that results in successful program implementation

    4. Program Sustainability Year 1 • 22,000 students in 45 of the 64 parishes Year 2 • 1056 teachers • 55,000 students in 55 parishes Year 3 • 941 teachers • 49,000 students enrolled in 54 parishes Year 4 • 964 teachers • 55,000 students enrolled in 58 parishes

    5. Program Curriculumwhat a teacher receives • Curriculum Binder • Contains all lessons covering 4th – 12th grade • Educational supplies to teach lessons • Aerial photographs • Laboratory supplies • Field materials • Educational videos • “Wet Work” Documentary

    6. Wet Work Video Production Five-part production modeled after Dirty Jobs Teen host profiles wetland professionals in Louisiana Goal is to provide information to students on potential careers in wetland conservation Wet Work Segments: Coastal Fisheries Coastal Marsh Restoration Freshwater Wetlands Fish Hatcheries Alligator Gar Wet Work was awarded the 2009 Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation

    7. Hands-On Activities Vegetative Establishment  15,000 vegetative species utilized  36,000 tree saplings of 37 species delivered  450,000 seeds of upland woody species collected  7 seven greenhouse sections (5,250 ft2) and 6 ponds (~ 2 acres) for year-round plant production Restoration Projects  Vegetative plantings at upland and coastal wetland sites  Tree plantings  Trash clean-up/Beach sweep • Wood duck box construction/installation • Rain garden installation on school grounds

    8. Summer Education CampsSponsored by the Youth Wetlands Program • Marsh Maneuvers • High school students are immersed in wetland ecology lessons and implement wetland restoration projects at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge • Wild Woods Wandering • Provides high school students with first-hand experiences in a forested wetland ecosystem in Tensas Parish • 4-H Camp Grant Walker • Annual camp held for 4th – 6th grade students. The Youth Wetlands Program sponsors the “Wetlands Track” which exposes campers to hands-on wetland education activities • LOST Camp • Similar to 4H camp but designed for 7th and 8th grade students. The Youth Wetlands Program sponsors the “Wetlands Track” where campers explore wetland-based professions

    9. Youth Wetlands Program 2010/2011 Timeline

    10. Program Evaluation • Teacher Surveys • used to assess program content and get feedback from educators participating in the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program • Pre and post tests to assess knowledge gained: • 11,822 pre and post tests from students participating in the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program • 66 pre and posts tests from campers participating in Marsh Maneuvers • 38 pre and posts tests from campers participating in Wild Woods Wanderings

    11. Teacher Evaluation ResultsApproval ratings • Handbook aid teaching efforts? 90% • Age appropriate? 93% • Increase in student knowledge? 95% • Fact sheets helpful? 94% • Activities stimulating? 89% • Enough materials? 82% • Materials suitable to lessons? 90% • Pre and post tests reflect knowledge? 88%

    12. Very Unsatisfied Unsatisfied Neither Satisfied VerySatisfied

    13. Pre and Post Test ScoresYouth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program

    14. Pre and Post Test ScoresOvernight Camp Participants Marsh Maneuvers Average score increased 22% across grades 7-12 Wild Woods Wanderings Average score increased 17% across grades 7-12

    15. Communication/Publicity • Public announcements • News articles • Public television interviews • Educator workshops • Informational booths at state and national conferences • Displays at public events • Electronic newsletter • Program website

    16. Awards • LA Wildlife Federation – Governor’s Conservation Award • Wet Work DVD • Dept. of Agriculture – National 4H Program of Distinction Award • Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana’s – Coastal Stewardship Award • nominated • National Assoc. of Extension 4H Agents – Recognition Award • nominated

    17. Partnerships and Sponsorships • America’s WETLAND Conservation Corps • AmeriCorps program that helps promote the Youth Wetlands program by working with AgCenter personnel to recruit schools, develop lessons, and assist with in-classroom and field activities. • Wetland Watchers • School-based service learning Learn and Serve AmeriCorps program that engages students in the New Orleans area in hands-on wetland education. • Corporate Sponsors • Pepsi Company • Entergy • Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana • Curriculum Assistance • Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) • Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Education • LSU School of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Science (SPESS) • Louisiana Sea Grant College Program • Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service (CSREES)