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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STONE LAKES NWR: Watershed Project Earns Sacramento Fifth Graders Trip to Disneyland 
Region 8, March 27, 2008
Students from Sylvia Rodriguez's fifth grade class excitedly display a banner proclaiming them grand prize winners of this year's Environmentality Challenge. (USFWS Photo by Scott Flaherty)
Students from Sylvia Rodriguez's fifth grade class excitedly display a banner proclaiming them grand prize winners of this year's Environmentality Challenge. (USFWS Photo by Scott Flaherty) - Photo Credit: n/a

A Sacramento, Calif., fifth grade class that planted trees on Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge as part of a class environmental project to preserve the American River Watershed was named grand prize winner of this year's Disney Environmentality Challenge.

Disney's Mickey Mouse joined Region 8 Visitor Services Chief Art Shine and representatives  from California education and environmental agencies for the surprise announcement March 26 at Phoebe Hearst Elementary in Sacramento. Teacher Sylvia Rodriguez and her fifth graders' project to preserve and protect the American River Watershed bested projects from 45 schools entered in the statewide environmental education program.

Students learned about the watershed ecosystem, planted native shrubs along the river, organized a student fair and wrote and performed a play to educate other students about the watershed and produced a short documentary about their project in partnership with a local television station. The class will be honored with a free trip to Disneyland May 2.

This is the second consecutive year that Stone Lakes NWR has been a part of the winning project. Last year, fifth graders from Sutterville Elementary in Sacramento won the grand prize for their burrowing owl habitat project on the suburban refuge.

The annual competition is sponsored by the Walt Disney Co. in partnership with California environmental and education agencies,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov