City Light staff has just completed their tenth year of the “Homeward Bound” field trip, a program to give elementary school students an opportunity to witness the return of salmon to local rivers, and learn about natural sciences.
The program is offered to fourth and fifth graders from Seattle Public schools. This year’s students came from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary school in South Seattle, where more than 95 percent of the children attending are students of color and for many English is their second language.
To participate, their teachers have to be currently using the Land and Water Curriculum, a set of lessons designed by the National Science Resources Center to teach students the story of how the earth formed and how it continues to change.
The goal is to give these kids (many who have not had field experience) an opportunity to walk trails, learn about rivers, fish, as well as the use of maps and compasses. We hope that at least one child realizes that biology and natural sciences are cool and that there are job opportunities that can include all or some of these things.
Every year there is a special highlight. This year they were able to view a salmon carcass up close. Last year it was finding a frog.
The field trip takes place on the Cedar River, at Ron Regis Park near Renton.