It’s that time of year when classrooms take a day to go on an end of the year field trip, somewhere fun, but somewhere educational. On Tuesday May 24th, Griffin School and Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) kindergarten classes planned a trip to Burfoot Park along Budd Inlet, where they were greeted by Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources staff in scuba gear and two wading pools full of sea life. “It’s always fun to do this for the students. To see the excitement in these young learners faces when we come to shore in all our scuba gear is priceless,” says Joseph Peters, Natural Resources Policy Representative for Squaxin Island Tribe.
This is the second year that Griffin School kindergarten classes have coordinated with Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources to have a “touch tank” of sea life for the class to learn about. It was great that we could extend this to be a full day event so ORLA could participate in all the fun. The hope is that we can make an impression on these young students about the importance of the Puget Sound and the life it contains.
“Watching them interact with the sea stars, crabs, moon snails, and other sea creatures is amazing. We like to keep our eye on those kindergarteners that stay around the touch tank the longest. Those kids are our future marine biologist or scientists”, boast Peters. There are plans to do this again next year with Griffin and ORLA. Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources does a number of educational outreach activities throughout the year. Over three days in late April the Tribe and Shelton School District conducted the First Grade Field Experience. First graders from Evergreen, Mountain View, and Bordeaux Elementary visited Arcadia Point where Squaxin Island Tribe set up three exploration stations and traditional story telling station. Explorations stations included touch tank, watershed demonstration, and scavenger hunt.