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Turtle Island Restoration Network
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SPAWN Provides Redwood Education to Oakland Students from Brothers on the Rise
Olema, Calif. (March 31, 2016) – Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) wrapped up a three-day redwood and outdoor education experience for underserved students from Oakland, Calif.
The all male students were part of Brothers on the Rise, a non-profit whose mission addresses the great need for broad-based implementation of preventive, empowerment pipeline programs for boys and young men of color. The experience, held in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, was part of Brothers on the Rise program Trail Brothers, which is an environmental education initiative that connects their male youth of color to nature through hiking, camping and other forms of outdoor exploration.
SPAWN was honored to be able to tailor curriculum, and outdoor educational activities specifically for Brothers on the Rise group of 25 male students from second grade and up. Thanks to a generous grant from the Save the Redwoods League, SPAWN was able to provide students with hands-on outdoor educational activities in the redwood ecosystem.
“Every student deserves the opportunity to learn about, and to explore their redwood coast ecosystem. Thanks to Save the Redwoods League we are able to remove any financial barriers in teachers and students paths, and get kids outside to learn about this special place in their Bay Area backyard,” said Catie Clune, an education specialist with SPAWN.
SPAWN is especially equipped to teach students about the redwoods coast ecosystem, having recently launched the 10,000 Redwoods Project, 10000redwoods.org. This initiative aims to plant 10,000 redwood trees in the Bay Area in the next three years to sequester carbon and to provide critical creekside habitat to endangered coho salmon. As part of the program, SPAWN is growing redwood trees in our native plant nurseries, collecting seeds, and educating the public about the importance of these trees in our ecosystem.
For many of these underserved students, this was among their first experiences in the outdoors and their first time seeing a redwood tree.
“The purpose of this trip is to expose our kids to state parks and nature in general so that they get a feel for what it is like to actually own the park, because all the citizens of this country own it,” said Cesar Barragan, Brothers on the Rise program coordinator. “We want them to feel ownership in the sense that they own it and are responsible for it, so hopefully they will become stewards for all of these public lands in the future,” he added.
To encourage students to continue to pursue and learn outdoors, SPAWN arranged for environmental experts from different fields to speak with the students about how to best prepare themselves for careers in the outdoors (i.e. as park rangers, biologists, and activists).
“The panel stressed the importance of and the pathway and intersection of what you like to do and what you should do as a career. If you like the outdoors, by all means become a ranger,” explained Barragan.
Turtle Island Restoration Network works to mobilize people and communities around the world to protect marine wildlife, the oceans and the inland waterways that sustain them. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. SeaTurtles.Org
Brothers on the Rise’s mission addresses the great need for broad-based implementation of preventive, empowerment pipeline programs for boys and young men of color: We responsibly empower male youth to achieve individual success, develop healthy relationships and contribute to a more just and equitable society. brothersontherise.org