Each Spring, more than 20 public and private elementary schools move fish they have raised from eggs to the Imprint Pond at Carkeek Park. After 3 months of rearing, feeding, studying, and developing an admiration for salmon, these young people appreciate their place and role in the larger environment they share with salmon.
These kids are not just completing a salmon life cycle study that began in the fall when they participated in the return of spawners in the Pipers Creek system, but they are now committed to a lifetime of stewardship.
Here they observe, discuss, and learn more in a great outdoor classroom about salmon and their role in the environment.
With organizational and educational programming support from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), about 2 dozen field trips are arranged for schools in the Salmon in the Schools program. By the end of the spring Chum salmon releases at Carkeek Park, nearly 1,200 elementary schools kids understand, appreciate and are enthusiastically prepared to share their stewardship principles with the world they live in.
Each school participates in 2 educational stations:
- Scavenger hunt — 10 treasure chests are hidden in the park, each asking questions about the salmon life cycle and the environment they live in.
- Salmon release — after reviewing the 20 question from the scavenger hunt and the Stewardship Question of the Day, each student takes a few of their own salmon fry raised in their schools’ aquarium to the Imprint Pond. Their they will be fed for the next month by CWCAP Salmon Imprint Stewards while these fish are imprinting with the scent of the creek water running through their 1,000 gallon tank.