Program Highlights


Monthly Update – July 2022

Squaxin Teens in the Stepping Stones program learn about estuary restoration with the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team.

School might be out over the summer, but South Sound GREEN still has programs! This month, we had the great opportunity to lead activities related to careers in natural resources with the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Stepping Stones program. Teens and mentors participated in environmental science activities and learned career paths through freshwater and marine lessons in the Deschutes Watershed. From pressing seaweed to testing water quality to finding benthic macroinvertebrates, we had a blast working with these students! Thank you to our partners and volunteers from Pacific Shellfish Institute, Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT), Department of Ecology, and Kamilche Adventures for the help and support!    

Summer is halfway over, and we’re already preparing for the next school year! Teachers can reach out to Sam Nadell at if they’re interested in participating in Water Quality Monitoring or receiving updates about future programs. Also, if you are or you know a local high school student interested in volunteer opportunities, check out the Teens in Thurston (TnT) program. Our first program will be in September, which is right around the corner!


Monthly Update – June 2022

Stephanie kicks off the 2022 Summer Institute for Teachers!

Another school year is in the books, and I think most teachers and students would agree that this was one of the more unique ones! From school-based water quality field days, to virtual salmon spawning field trips, to our packed spring nearshore field trip schedule, this year had everything. We are so grateful to have such amazing local teachers to work with, who have dealt with more than ever this year to help us implement our programs whether they were virtual, school-based, or field-based. We are eagerly looking forward to next year, when even more of our students and teachers should be able to join us for field experiences!

The end of June saw one of our favorite annual activities – the Summer Institute for Teachers. This year’s theme was Drought and Wildfires, highlighting some of the heightened issues we’ve been facing both locally and nationally. Thirty teachers from South Sound GREEN, the Nisqually River Education Project, and the Chehalis Basin Education Consortium came out to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge for three days of amazing tribal speakers, research experts, hands-on activities, and lots of fun! We even had the incredible opportunity to explore the expansive South Sound prairies on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and learn about prairie management practices from on-base environmental technicians. Overall, the event was a great success, and thank you again to everybody who helped to make the event possible! Stay tuned for information about the 2022-2023 school year soon!


Monthly Update: May 2022

Students from Boston Harbor Elementary play CRAB-O and explore Burfoot Park for critters.

For the first time in too long, our schedule has been packed with in-person field trips! We’ve been having a great time out at local Thurston County beaches for nearshore programs with Olympia, North Thurston, and Tumwater students. Some of these students are participating in their first field trip in the past three years, while some of our third grade students have been joining us for their first field trip ever! And what better way to get back into field trips than by exploring the beach environment for crabs and other critters!

We were also thrilled to help out with Eye On Nature programs at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge this month. Along with partners and founders Nisqually River Education Project and Nisqually Reach Nature Center, we tagged along to help guide students through the Refuge and identify native plants and animals. Simply put, being outdoors is the best way to learn about your local environment!

Coming up in June is our Summer Institute for Teachers, one of our favorite professional development event. If you are a South Sound GREEN teacher interested in attending, please let us know by emailing Stephanie at


Monthly Update: April 2022

Students from Marshall Middle School participate in a wrack line survey during their Nearshore Field Experience.

The weather is warming up and South Sound GREEN is starting to go on field trips again! This past month, we’ve had a blast helping out our friends at the Nisqually River Education Project with their North Thurston 4th grade programs out at the Nisqually community garden, which saw hundreds of elementary students participating in everything from salmon dissections to hearing Nisqually tribal stories. A big thank you to our partners at the Nisqually Indian Tribe as well for hosting these programs! We’re also in the middle of restarting our spring Nearshore Field Experiences, which we haven’t done in person in three years! Marshall Middle School students in the Citizen Science Institute, frequent participants in SSG programs, joined us for our first Nearshore trip of the season, and enjoyed beautiful weather while learning about unique intertidal species and the importance of beach wrack lines. We can’t wait to bring more students out to local beaches soon!

Let’s hope for more great weather and Nearshore programs in the coming months! And teachers, our Summer Institute is coming up in June! Stay tuned for more information about our favorite teacher training opportunity!


Monthly Update – March 2022

A huge thank you to all of our community partners for your help with making our 2022 Student GREEN Congress so successful!

Student GREEN Congress has come and gone once again! Our 29th annual and second ever virtual Student GREEN Congress event was an amazing success, engaging over 700 students across multiple watershed programs in South Puget Sound and beyond. Alongside the Nisqually River Education Project, the Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, and numerous incredible community partners, we coordinated a virtual Congress event that included an interactive Water Quality Story Map and hands-on environmental workshops. And to top it all off, our Congress Keynote event featured Long Live the Kings presenting and leading their Survive the Sound game, where students learned about tracking juvenile steelhead and modeled steelhead survival rates. Overall, we couldn’t be more proud of how our favorite annual event went, and we hope to return to an in-person event next year!

Outside of Congress, we’ve been busy with water quality field days with Olympia elementary schools and North Thurston middle schools. Getting students outside has always been our priority, even if it’s on their school grounds!

And finally, spring is here! Stay tuned for information about our upcoming Nearshore programs! We’ll need additional volunteer help for a lot of these programs, so if you’re interested in joining us out in some beautiful nearshore environments please reach out to Sam Nadell at!