Student Landowner Education & Watershed Stewardship
I learned that I'm a more hands-on learning person and would possibly later in life love to volunteer constructing houses or helping people with land troubles.
In 2001, Mary Kimball, Judy Boshoven, and Jeanne Wirka (then housed together at Yolo County Resource Conservation District) had the idea to bring two programs together - the FARMS Leadership Program and Audubon California’s Landowner Stewardship Program. From this, the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) was born!
For two decades, the SLEWS program has worked to engage high school students in habitat restoration through a series of hands-on field days at real projects that develop science skills and environmental stewardship in youth.
Over the course of three SLEWS Field Days, and associated in-class lessons, students build their knowledge, skills and personal connection to the land. Each high school class of 30 students is matched with a habitat project where they plant native trees and shrubs, build irrigation systems and participate in ecological field studies while learning about careers and college opportunities in natural resource management and environmental science. Students see the effects of their work through multiple visits to their adopted project. These integrated learning experiences combine teambuilding, science learning, habitat restoration and reflection activities with outdoor exploration.
In over 20 years of impact, we have served over 8,000 students, run over 1,000 field days, and planted over 400,000 native trees, shrubs, and grasses. If you were to connect all SLEWS-planted native plant hedgerows, they would extend from Sacramento to Reno (142 miles!).
For more information, contact Allie Dumas, SLEWS Program Manager Allie@landbasedlearning.org or call (216) 407-2151.
« Back to the Land-Based Learning Programs page.
I believe that most valuable part of my SLEWS experience was going out there and seeing that there are people out there who truly
care for the environment and are willing to educate others to better it. It was nice knowing that there are organizations out there making change.
Are You Interested in Becoming a SLEWS Mentor?
For more information, contact Allie Dumas, SLEWS Program Manager, Allie@landbasedlearning.org or call (216) 407-2151.