For New / Interested Teachers

Welcome to South Sound GREEN! Over 100 teachers in Thurston County are currently affiliated with our program, and we’re always looking for more teachers and classes to get involved! Check here to see if your school is eligible to participate.

South Sound GREEN is a free program that offers a variety of field and classroom experiences for thousands of 4th-12th grade students in Thurston County, as well as professional development for teachers and volunteer opportunities for local parents and community members. We offer flexible scheduling and provide constant support so that teachers are not only observing our programs, but feel comfortable leading those programs themselves in future years. We also provide funding for buses and substitute teachers, as well as clock hours for teacher training events.

Our popular Water Quality Monitoring program brings students outside to collect real, scientific data twice a year at a local river or waterway. This can include classroom visits to introduce watershed concepts and chemical tests to students, coordination and guidance during monitoring days, and follow-up visits to contextualize the results. Additionally, hundreds of students who participate in our water quality monitoring also participate in our annual Student GREEN Congress at the Evergreen State, where they present and compare their findings alongside their peers and participate in watershed-based workshops.

Our Restoration and Action Projects are a great way for local students to understand the function of plants and agriculture within their watersheds. Students are joined by South Sound GREEN and Thurston Conservation District staff (and usually a few rockstar volunteers) at local restoration sites to do everything from planting native plants to removing invasive species. In the process, students become familiarized with native flora and learn about the importance of these plants with regards to the health of the watershed and the salmon that return to Thurston County every year. Students should expect to get their hands dirty!

Nearshore Field Trips are an opportunity for students to experience Puget Sound from all directions. A variety of education stations offer students the chance to assess the quality of the Sound, explore the world of plankton under microscopes, and even touch some of the critters found below the surface!

We offer a wide array of teacher development and training opportunities. Our annual Summer Institute for Teachers (SIfT) takes place over three days in June, and each year focuses on a different environmental education topic relevant to our county. Institute events in the past have included guided Mt. Rainier hikes, performances by local musical educators, hands-on animal handling and dissections, and lectures from esteemed researchers – and much more!

If you are potentially interested in working with South Sound GREEN, or want to learn more about the programs we offer, please contact Stephanie Bishop, Program Manager, at sbishop@thurstoncd.com, or fill out the form below. Thank you for your interest in our programs!