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Elementary Students Experience Nature Through City Light’s “Homeward Bound” Field Trip

City Light employees from various divisions completed its fifteenth year of the “Homeward Bound” field trip on Oct. 15. This program gives fifth-graders from Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in south Seattle an opportunity to learn how to read maps and use compasses, witness the return of salmon to local rivers, and learn about natural sciences. We are intentional about offering the program to schools where at least 95% of the students attending are students of color.

Students learning about the Salmon along the Cedar River

Part of the participation in this program includes their teachers 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 students, many who have not had field experiences, an opportunity to walk trails, and to learn about rivers, fish and the use of maps and compasses. We hope that at least one child realizes that natural sciences are exciting and that there are job opportunities that can include many of the skills learned that day. Observing and touching (with gloves) salmon carcasses was again a hit with the students.

Students and City Light employees working together

The field trip takes place on the Cedar River at Ron Regis Park near Renton. Staff who participated included Liz Ablow, Meg Andres, Hina Arai, Dave Beedle, Kristin Cappellano, Nida Cayetano, Tim Croll, Sarah Hartwell, Paul Haase, Denise Krownbell, Kathryn Mork, Kiyomi Morris, Julianna Ross, Melissa Skelton and Hannah Staples. Thanks to the Customer Energy Solutions group for the giveaways of rulers, pens, and flashlights-greatly appreciated by the kids and the teachers!