Holding onto the GREEN Zone
A youth program for the study and stewardship of community riparian areas
Holding onto the GREEN Zone earth science curriculum and accompanying leader guide are a product of an initiative to encourage collaboration between land managers and youth educators/leaders to promote conservation of fragile riparian resources. Through the processes of science inquiry and experiential learning, learners enhance their knowledge of science and come to understand the importance of preserving and restoring riparian ecosystems.
The curriculum contains step-by-step guidelines for helping students in grades 5-8 or youth group members (ages 10-14) understand these complex and exciting ecosystems. Students practice field techniques at learning stations, “adopt” a science career as part of a field study team, develop a riparian management plan in cooperation with a natural resource professional, and report their findings to the community.
Reilly, K., Wooster, B. & E. Andrews. 2008. Holding onto the Green Zone. A Youth Program for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas. US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Publication Index Number, BLM/WO/GI-7/019+8600 EE8007A and BLM/WO/GI-7/019+8600 EE8007B.
To develop the curriculum and leader guide, Andrews worked with the Youth Riparian Education Initiative, a collaboration of federal agencies and land grant universities that aim to provide resources and engage youth in stewardship activities that support the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) riparian restoration goals. The process included a needs assessment study and curriculum development based on study results. Project resources were primarily designed to help land managers communicate with the public about management techniques and decisions.
In addition to funders, the project advisory committee included educators from Langston University in Oklahoma and Oregon State University. More than 100 land managers provided advice about project goals via a survey implemented at an annual meeting to coordinate government agency expectations about the Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) of a riparian area.