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Marin Civic Center>Doc. on the STRAW org. (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watersheds)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Event Type:
415 479 1888
Location Details:
A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW (film link) will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Showcase Theater at the Marin Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael. Tickets are $10 for the 35-minute film. Refreshments will be served and a panel discussion will follow.

The Bay Area Science Alliance (BASA) provides information about science events, exhibits, teacher resources, and providers such as formal K-12 education organizations, informal science centers, and institutions of higher education in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Mark Prado
Posted: 01/17/2010 07:32:50 PM PST from IJ

The history of environmentalism is rich in Marin, and there might be no story more compelling than that of the STRAW program, which puts students in the middle of nature to help restore it.

The history of the program - Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed - is documented in a film by San Anselmo's David Donnenfield, who was looking to show the stories of environmental restoration work across the nation.

"It turns out we had this great program right in our own backyard," he said.

That program was started in 1992 at Brookside Elementary School in San Anselmo by fourth-grade teacher Laurette Rogers. After showing her class a film on rainforest destruction, one student raised his hand.

"What can we do to help endangered species?" asked the student, Jon Elliot, whose "simple question" pushed Rogers into action.

At the time, Brookside School had made a commitment to undertake an environmental learning project. Rogers and her students settled on a project to help the California freshwater shrimp.

That morphed into STRAW program, which is now run by the Novato-based Bay Institute, an environmental advocacy group.

Since its inception in 1992, the STRAW program has seen 25,000 students participate, had almost 300 restorations projects on rural and urban creeks, planted 25,000 native plants and restored more than 20 miles of creek banks.

"This program gave the kids control," said Rogers, who now runs the $500,000 annual program - fueled by donations
- for the Bay Institute. "It was a case of the students creating the path."

Elliot, now an adult living in San Francisco, says the program forever changed the way he looks at the environment.

"As a fourth-grader it was exciting to see something that made a tangible difference," he said

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Added to the calendar on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 8:14AM
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