Yuba River Watershed Curriculum
A major effort under Yuba Water’s water education program is the agency’s Yuba River watershed education curriculum project, which is currently being piloted in Yuba County classrooms. The curriculum project is a collaborative effort with involvement and guidance from many partners, including all five Yuba County school districts, the Yuba County Office of Education, Yuba Community College District, South Yuba River Citizens League and the Yuba River Endowment.
Curriculum development began in 2020 with an inaugural cohort of 45 teachers who received specialized training on the Yuba River watershed and how to create lessons that meet Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers then worked in smaller, grade-level groups to develop more than 175 Yuba River-focused lessons in science and other subject areas covering all K-12 grades and some community college lessons.
In 2021, Yuba Water committed additional funds to train a second cohort of up to 40 teachers to join returning teachers from 2020 and partner on the final evaluate and refinements to the curriculum before it’s implemented countywide. The curriculum is designed to pair with a planned state-of-the-art watershed experience center, which is in the master planning process. An update on the master plan is expected in the fall of 2021.
Olivehurst Schools Water Education Pilot Program
The California Department of Water Resources Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program is a Proposition 1-funded grant program designed to ensure the involvement of disadvantaged communities, economically distressed areas or underrepresented communities in Integrated Regional Water Management planning efforts. Yuba Water was granted $3.7 million under the program and is using those funds to develop and pilot its watershed curriculum project.
Under the grant, a case study was developed for Yuba County to conduct a youth and community water education program within Olivehurst. Yuba Water partnered with Olivehurst Public Utility District to implement a pilot program. The program complements Olivehurst Schools' existing core curriculum, while assisting teachers and students in learning more about water, where it comes from, how to conserve it, and whether or not it is sanitary. Students receive in-classroom education, as well as water-related assemblies and a field trip on the Yuba River through the South Yuba River Citizens League's Salmon Expedition program.
Yuba Water is working with the program creators to determine the best way to embed these program offerings in the countywide watershed curriculum project to ensure it is made available to all Yuba County elementary schools in the future.