Nature Vision Programs
The Nature Discoveries program brings one-hour state standard-based lessons to students in classrooms and outdoors to foster learning about and appreciation for our local environment. Teachers receive needed help guiding students into natural settings for real-world learning.
Blue Team Student Stewardship Projects
Blue Teams provide students an opportunity to take leadership of a service-oriented, stewardship project. Projects range from water conservation school and home campaigns, participating in native plant restoration, invasive plant removal in riparian areas of concern, storm drain stenciling and art, and much more.
Nature Vision works in partnership with many local cities and water districts to bring state standard-based water education programming to local schools within service areas. These programs allow students to make connections to local water bodies and ecosystems, understand pollution issues, and learn to protect and conserve water.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Nature Vision is an award-winning program. In 2010, the NV team received the Michael Mercer Water Conservation Educator Award with partners for our work on the Sammamish Watershed Festival. NV Director Clay Heilman received the 2009 Regional Grant W. Sharpe Award for significant contributions to interpretation, and the 2009 National Starthrower Award for demonstrating excellence in environmental education, from the National Association for Interpretation. NV was also honored with the 2007-2008 Environmental Education Association of Washington’s (EEAW) Award for Organizational Excellence. In 2007, Nature Vision received the first Michael Mercer Water Conservation Educator award from the Partnership for Water Conservation.
Nature Vision needs more funding for general operating expenses, and continued and increased funding to help us serve low income students in the region. Our operating expenses come from programming fees, but each year we work to keep fees low to school and increase free programming for those students in need. We have a wonderful collection of programs and teaching supplies, but could really use some funding for duplicating supplies and replacing aging materials. Teacher feedback from the past five years indicates a growing need for environmental education programs in low-income schools. Without grant and donation funded programming, many schools we currently work with would not have an opportunity to bring needed science programs to their students with already stretched budgets and little time.