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DON EDWARDS S.F. BAY NWR: Kindergarten Environmentalists Raise Money for Refuge Education Program
California-Nevada Offices , September 26, 2013
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Teacher Renee Smith and her K-1 class from the Glenmore School in Fremont, CA, showing the money they raised for environmental education by recycling.
Teacher Renee Smith and her K-1 class from the Glenmore School in Fremont, CA, showing the money they raised for environmental education by recycling. - Photo Credit: USFWS
Interpretive Specialist Jennifer Fraga displays funds raised by Glenmore School kindergarteners for environmental education on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Interpretive Specialist Jennifer Fraga displays funds raised by Glenmore School kindergarteners for environmental education on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: USFWS

By Doug Cordell

Proving that even the littlest environmentalists can make a big difference, kindergarteners from the Glenmore School in Fremont, California took the proceeds from a class recycling effort and donated them to the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society to fund environmental education programs at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Students in teacher Renee Smith’s K-1 Class of 2013 collected glass, aluminum and plastic containers and cashed them in at the local recycling center. It was the kids’ decision to use the money they earned to fund learning about the environment. In July, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society Interpretive Specialist, Jennifer Fraga, and Don Edwards Refuge Park Ranger, Jose Garcia, went to the class to receive a check for $100.22 on behalf of the Wildlife Society.

“I think it’s terrific,” says Garcia about the youngsters’ contribution. “It shows that they’re already willing to be a part of helping protect the environment.”

Both Garcia and Fraga regularly visit schools to give presentations about ecology and habitat restoration. Fraga, for instance, developed a puppet show to demonstrate the local food chain, while Garcia designed an interactive exhibit using flumes and sponges to show how restored wetlands around San Francisco Bay absorb flooding.

Of the fundraising by the Glenmore class, Fraga notes: “The kids were so pumped to do this that, as Mrs. Smith told me, one of them brought more money on the last day to add to our total. Kids like this are what make our jobs worth going to every day."

The Don Edwards refuge conducts environmental education classes for thousands of students each year at its Environmental Education Center in Alviso, California. But with local budget cutbacks, many schools can’t afford field trips to the refuge. That makes visits by environmental educators like Fraga and Garcia all the more important.

“A lot of these kids are going to be growing up around here,” says Garcia. “When they’re adults, they’ll be the ones deciding the future of the restoration work that’s been started.”

Doug Cordell is the Public Affairs Officer at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Fremont, California. 

 


Contact Info: Doug Cordell, 510-774-4080, doug_cordell@fws.gov



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