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Watershed Explorers Program

  • Watershed Explorers in Benicia recall learning moments from the day.

  • K.I. Jones Elementary students record their phenological observations about the manzanita at Rockville Hills Regional Park. Photo used with permission by Ron Berkson, K.I. Jones Elementary

  • Vacaville students hike through grasses at Lagoon Valley Park. Photo used with permission by Joel Rosenbaum, Vacaville Reporter

  • A Fairfield student tries to identify the macroinvertebrate she just inspected through a microscope. Photo used with permission by Ron Berkson, K.I. Jones Elementary

  • Students make predictions about the movement of pollution through a storm drain model at Glen Cove Waterfront Park.

  • Benicia students hike alongside their watershed’s namesake: the Carquinez Strait.

The Watershed Explorers Program runs annually from January through May and includes a pre-trip presentation through our School Water Education Program and a field trip to a local park or outdoor space.

Program Goals

Watershed Explorers uses science and place-based learning to build awareness and understanding of local creeks and watersheds and their unique ecosystems, as well as good stewardship practices to help care for these special places. Using a curriculum based on concepts directly linked to California’s state education standards, the program offers local children - many of whom have little or no experience being in open space settings - a concrete, experiential introduction to their watershed and the life that depends on it.

Watershed Explorers is an introductory program and covers basic ecology concepts and stewardship responsibilities. The primary program goal is to help students develop an awareness of the outdoor, natural world. Program objectives include improving student’s ability to:

  • Describe the path water takes from source to sink;

  • Understand the role drought plays in nature and society, and practice ways to conserve water;

  • Recognize how stormwater influences our watersheds and the impacts of motor oil and trash;

  • Understand how to mitigate the impacts of their own and their family's behaviors on the local watershed by becoming stewards of our county waterways, including how to implement the "Triple R" reduce, reuse, and recycle messaging.

As part of the program, students also collect data about how plants and animals change across each season (phenology) as part of a global climate change study. Click here to learn more about the phenology data collected by Watershed Explorers. 



Standards Connections

Guiding Question

What environmental solutions might help living things affected by drought and/or stormwater pollution?

What Students Do

Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how drought and runoff pollution impacts living things in a watershed.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: (3-LS4.D) Populations live in a variety of habitats, and changes in those habitats affect the organisms living there.

  • Cross Cutting Concepts: Cause and effect, patterns, systems and system models, stability and change.

  • Scientific and Engineering Practices: Nearly all eight SEP’s are utilized in this program.

Watershed Explorers is funded by Solano County and all its City Jurisdictions, Solano County Water Agency, Vallejo Water Conservation Program, Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District, Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District, and the Potrero Hills Landfill. The fall component is paid through a partnership with the Greater Vallejo Recreation District with funding through the California State Parks Habitat Conservation Fund. 

WE Recycle! Challenge 


  • 2019 WE Recycle Challenge winners show off their prizes!

    2019 WE Recycle Challenge winners show off their prizes!

  • SRCD educator exchanges bottles for cash at a local Certified Recycling Center.

    SRCD educator exchanges bottles for cash at a local Certified Recycling Center.

  • Solano County students work together to count their class recyclables.

    Solano County students work together to count their class recyclables.

    The WE Recycle! Challenge is an annual recycling competition which takes place during the entire month of April. Third grade classes around Solano County are invited to earn money for their classroom by collecting cans and bottles with the CRV symbol and exchanging them at the nearest Certified Recyling Center. The classes that recycle the most cans and bottles in the month-long timeframe will earn the title of Solano County Super Recylers!

    Winning classes will also be celebrated on social media and in regional news stories. Classrooms can choose to donate the CRV money from the items they recycle to support a classroom or school project or charity, and all participants are invited to document their recycling efforts with photos posted to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #WERecycleSolano! This challenge is a chance to help care for our county with a hands-on, family recycling project and to see which classroom can recycle the most material during a one-month period. For more information on how to get started email Lee Ascencio at .

    Past Videos


    Contact Us

    Solano Resource Conservation District

    1170 N Lincoln, Ste. 110
    Dixon, CA 95620

    Phone: (707) 678-1655 x 101

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