Program Highlights


Monthly Update – May 2023

Students from North Thurston High School measure atmospheric conditions at Luhr Beach before touring National Fish and Oyster.

Summer came quick to Thurston County, and South Sound GREEN has been busy enjoying the weather and the outdoors with hundreds of students! We kicked off our CLAMSS Nearshore field experiences this month with Chemistry students from all three North Thurston high schools out at the Nisqually Reach. These students spent the day exploring the beach, learning about the shellfish industry with a tour of the National Fish and Oyster facility, and connecting their chemistry lessons with real world applications. Thanks, as always, to our community partners at the Nisqually Reach Nature Center and the Nisqually River Education Project for their support!

There are only a few weeks of school left, but we’re squeezing in as many outdoor education opportunities as possible before kicking off the summer with our Summer Institute for Teachers!


Monthly Update – April 2023

Hanford McCloud of the Nisqually Tribe introduces students to the Nisqually Community Center during their Salmon, Cedar, Canoe field trip.

It took a while, but spring has finally sprung here in Thurston County, and we’ve been taking advantage of the good (and not so good) weather at South Sound GREEN with a variety of field trips! We continued our modified nearshore programs with North Thurston Public Schools high school biology students, who braved the elements to explore the Meyers Point Environmental Field Station on Henderson Inlet. We also joined in to help our friends at Nisqually River Education Project out with the Salmon, Cedar, Canoe trips at the Nisqually Community Center, where fourth graders participate in different environmental activities and hear stories and lessons from tribal members. Whether it’s bird watching, plant identification, or cedar weaving, all students can find something they enjoy on these multi-faceted trips!

This month we also helped to coordinate and host the South Puget Sound Regional Envirothon Competition for high school students. Teams of students from twelve schools and five different counties came to Squaxin Park to participate in hands-on environmental exams, practice presentation skills, and ask questions to local environmental scientists and educators about their careers. The event was a success, and if you know any Thurston County students or teachers who may want to participate next year, please reach out to Sam Nadell at

For teachers, keep an eye out for information about our Summer Institute soon – it doesn’t seem like it, but the end of the school year is only two months away!


Monthly Update – March 2023

Student GREEN Congress participants take a picture with the Evergreen State College mascot, Speedy!

For the first time since 2019, this past month featured our favorite in-person event of the year – Student GREEN Congress! After months of water quality testing and preparation, students from three different watershed programs (South Sound GREEN, Nisqually River Education Project, and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium) came together at the Evergreen State College campus to share their water quality data and participate in a wide variety of community partner-hosted workshops. And to kick off our 30th Student GREEN Congress event, we had an original water quality themed keynote performance by local clowns and puppeteers! All in all, over 400 students and over 80 volunteers participated in Student GREEN Congress and we couldn’t have been happier with how the day went!

With the weather getting nicer, SSG will be transitioning to nearshore field trips in the coming months. Students will be coming out to local beaches to learn about the creatures that live in the nearshore and intertidal zone, and as always we’ll be joined by lots of our favorite community partners. If you’d like to volunteer to help out with our field trips this spring, please reach out to Sam at


SSG is Hiring a Spring Education Intern!

Are you looking for an opportunity to gain education experience, lead field and classroom-based lessons, and engage hundreds of local students in watershed-focused programming? Consider applying to become South Sound GREEN’s new Education Intern! This position is ideal for college students or recent graduates looking to gain real world experience with environmental education, and the Intern will get the opportunity to assist with exciting projects and events such as water quality testing and nearshore field trips!!

Find more information about the position here. The priority application deadline is March 17th. Please reach out to Stephanie Bishop at if you have any questions.


Monthly Update – February 2023

Ron Holtcamp, SSG advisor and Trout Unlimited member, leads the pH and Turbidity station with students from Lakes Elementary.

Although it’s one of the coldest months of the year, elementary student scientists from across Thurston County have been working diligently to collect water quality data from local watersheds! 5th grade students from Lakes and Pioneer Elementary Schools traveled to Pioneer Park and Squaxin Park this month to explore their local waterways, practice native plant identification, and analyze water quality data from tests that they conducted. 

With our traditional water quality monitoring season wrapping up, students are getting ready to present their class’s water quality data during the 30th Annual Student GREEN Congress at The Evergreen State College! We’re looking forward to having the first in-person GREEN Congress since 2019. Teams of 4th-8th grade student delegates have begun working on their presentations for the GREEN Congress State of the Rivers Sessions, where the teams will work together to compare their water quality data and create action plans to reinforce the health of their local aquatic ecosystems. We also have more workshop offerings than ever this year, and are excited to collaborate with new community partners from across Washington! The event will take place on March 23rd – check the Student GREEN Congress webpage here for more information.

At the end of the month, North Thurston School District high school students began their round of biology field trips at Tolmie State Park, Squaxin Park, and Meyer’s Point Field Station. These field trips are a great opportunity for students to build upon the curriculum they learn in the classroom through hands-on outdoor experiences and to be introduced to future career possibilities in STEM. Stay tuned for updates in March!