SNAP Spotlight: Devon Kelley – Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Devon leads a group of 6th grade students through the Enviroscape Model to show how pollutants and debris can collect in a watershed.

Over the last few months, Devon Kelley and the Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) education team partnered with Kaweah Fly Fishers to facilitate the “release” stage of Tulare County’s Trout in the Classroom program.

Elementary students throughout the county raised trout from eggs and were invited to River Ridge Ranch in Springville, CA, for an SRT field trip and to release their fry. Fry are young fish that are within their first few months of life. Devon and the education team also trained high school students from SRT’s EARTH Academy and Granite Hills High School’s Academy for Careers in Education to lead various watershed and soil health stations. The high schoolers then taught the lesson to elementary students. Devon and her coworkers educated over 260 students about the local watershed, water use, soil health, and pollution throughout March and April!

Sam Weiser (SNAP Alum) trains EARTH Academy students on how to lead the nature hike station for upcoming elementary field trips.

It is crucial to protect this area of the Sierra because the valley is the final destination of all the Southern Sierra water that funnels into the Kaweah, Kings, Tule, and Kern Rivers. As this water travels to the valley, it carries evidence of everywhere it has been. During dry summer months with average temperatures nearing 100 F, hundreds of thousands of people in Tulare county rely on High Sierra snowmelt.

EARTH Academy students lead a group of 6th grade students through a nature hike under majestic blue oaks, western sycamores, and cottonwoods.

SRT’s mission is to conserve the lands and waters of California’s heartland. The only way to continue this mission in perpetuity is by educating our youth. SRT’s education department works with students and community members of all ages in Tulare and surrounding counties to educate them about the importance of natural habitat and its effects. In an area so dependent on agriculture, students are heavily impacted by water and the habitat it supports. From the high sierras to the valley, our students are connected to it all!

📷 Devon Kelley

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