Education

Education fosters learning that can change how people think, act and make decisions. Bring local examples and real-world application to classroom learning with a presentation, tour or service learning activity. 

Clean Water Services’ goal is to help students and educators understand the interrelated parts of water resources, our environment and how individual activities can make a difference. Through classroom and field-based education programs and stewardship opportunities, we can deliver information and practical tools to promote the health of the Tualatin River Watershed and bring real-world application to classroom learning. Read our Student Education Annual Report (PDF, 1MB).

Contact Ely O'Connor for more information. 

Distance Learning Resources

Grades K-2

Living Streams: Stories for Healthy Watersheds

Storyteller Will Hornyak presents stories to educate and inspire students to be caring stewards of the Tualatin River Watershed. Will uses myths, fables and tall tales to bring facts to life about healthy streams, fish habitats, pollution prevention, wetlands and more. Students will enjoy the memorable characters and learn some simple but effective actions they can take around their homes and schools to keep the Tualatin River and neighborhood streams clean and healthy. 

Medio Pollito

In this adapted Spanish folktale our hero Medio Pollito (Half-Chicken) demonstrates the requirements for healthy streams and how we can care for the Tualatin River by preventing pollution and maintaining trees and shrubs along riverbanks.   

Grizzly Bear and Frog

We all need to speak up on behalf of our rivers and streams! Here’s a story from the Nez Perce Native American tribe about how even a small voice can make a big difference if we speak up.

Itsy Bitsy Spider and the Macro-Invertebrate Cafe

Follow Daddy Long Legs and Itsy Bitsy spider on a journey to discover how our actions “upstream” around our homes and schools make a big difference “downstream” in our creeks and streams. Learn the importance of little bugs called indicator species.

Grades 3-5

River Rangers

Students learn about the water cycle, watersheds, pollution prevention and wastewater treatment. 

  • The Virtual Lesson Plan for teachers includes links to video presentations, pre and post quiz, worksheets and extension activities.

To schedule a virtual class presentation or get free student activity books, contact Ely O'Connor at 503.681.4463.

Video presentations (15 min each): 

Extension Activities

Living Streams: Stories for Healthy Watersheds

Storyteller Will Hornyak presents stories to educate and inspire students to be caring stewards of the Tualatin River Watershed. Will uses myths, fables and tall tales to bring facts to life about healthy streams, fish habitats, pollution prevention, wetlands and more. Students will enjoy the memorable characters and learn some simple but effective actions they can take around their homes and schools to keep the Tualatin River and neighborhood streams clean and healthy. 

The Walking Steelhead

The Tualatin River is the home to many kinds of fish including cutthroat trout, coho salmon, steelhead trout and bass. Here’s a tall tale with a few facts about what fish need to survive and thrive in the Tualatin River and how we can help them.   

The Land of Bog

Meet water-loving Queen Hydro-phyte and learn the importance of wetlands to our ecosystem and the role they play in reducing pollution, preventing floods and providing habitat to numerous species of fish, birds and wildlife. Consider visiting Fernhill, Jackson Bottoms Wetlands or the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge for hiking and wildlife viewing.  

One Day One Night!

We all need to speak up on behalf of our rivers and streams. Because people have spoken up on behalf of the Tualatin River the stream is cleaner and healthier now than in years past. Here's a Nez Perce myth about how even a small voice can make a big difference. 

Grades 6-8

Tualatin River Watershed Experience

Students explore our watershed using the six lessons below. Content aims to increase awareness of watershed health and human impact on water quality, and to inspire individual actions to reduce water pollution. Lessons support engineering design and ecosystem standards. 

Grades 9-12

Water Treatment & Resource Recovery 

Students navigate through the virtual treatment process to learn how used water is cleaned and resources are recovered. Flexible content can be adapted to suit physics, chemistry, biology or AP classes. 

  • Treatment Process Virtual Tour
  • Engineering, physics, chemistry and biology alignments available 
  • Live presentations available with a focus on careers

Contact Ely O'Connor at 503.681.4463 to schedule speakers or for curriculum support.

Education Resources for Washington County Classes/Groups

One Water Cycle Website

Use our interactive website to follow the many paths our water can take from the rain, through pipe systems, treatment facilities and back to the environment to be used again. No matter where it flows all water has been used before and will be used again.

River Rangers

River Rangers is an interactive environmental education program that engages students in learning about the water cycle, watersheds, pollution prevention and wastewater treatment. The presentation reinforces STEM concepts and Next Generation Science Standards for Structure & Function, Interaction & Change, and Engineering Design.

The program is designed for 4th grade students but can be adapted as necessary.

Washington County teachers can contact Ely O'Connor at 503.681.4463 to schedule a free 45-minute presentation for your students. 

Sewer Science

Sewer Science is a multi-day lab where high school students create, test and treat wastewater. Post-lab, students tour one of our wastewater treatment facilities to give real-world application to classroom learning.

Fernhill

Students learn about water quality, native plants, animal habitat and natural treatment systems at this location in Forest Grove.

Visit the Fernhill website for more information and education resources.  

Facility Tours

Ever wonder what happens to the water you send down the drain from the sink, toilet and shower? Get a firsthand look at our state-of-the-art, award-winning facilities that clean wastewater from homes and industry to nearly drinking water standards. The cleaned water is released into the Tualatin River and is so clean, it actually improves river health. If you'd like to see this amazing process, join us on a free tour.

  • Tour times are Tuesday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 11:30 am and 1 pm - 3 pm
  • Tours are available at our Durham Facility in Tigard or our Rock Creek Facility in Hillsboro
  • Group size is 10 - 35 people
  • Tours are on foot and cover uneven surfaces, stairs and tunnels. Please dress appropriately and wear close-toed shoes
  • Tours are suitable for grades four and up, school groups please bring one chaperone per 10 students
  • Have a classroom or group of at least 10? Register online
  • Questions? Call 503.547.8008 or email us
Water Monitoring

Water monitoring kits are available for school and community groups to test water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH levels and turbidity. Students and volunteers worldwide post their monitoring data on the World Water Monitoring Challenge website for inclusion in an annual summary.

The goal of the Challenge is to educate and engage citizens in the protection of water resources. Conducting simple monitoring tests teaches participants about some of the most common indicators of water health and provides a connection to streams and rivers.

River Rangers Outside the Tualatin River Watershed

Bring River Rangers to Your Area

The River Ranger program is designed to be presented by environmental educators to inform the public (children and adults) about how they impact water quality through their use of sewer and storm systems.

The presentation and activity book are designed to provide the fundamentals of clean water in a manner that incorporates active group and individual participation as well as take home activities.

Generic program materials are available for groups to share information in any area. 

The program consists of a set of 15 posters that aid in telling the story of water as it travels through our homes and into the treatment facility and finally into the rivers and streams. In conjunction with the posters, activity packages consisting of booklets and magnets for the students are available in units of 250. A 30-minute training video is also available to assist with preparation for presentation of the program.

River Rangers Materials
River Rangers Materials Cost
One set of 15 Full-Color Laminated Posters $ 420.00
Activity Package:
  • 250 activity packets. Each includes a booklet and magnet.
  • Qty 1-3: $325.00 Ea.
  • Qty 4+: $300.00 Ea.
30-Minute Training Video $10.00


Download an order form (PDF, 320KB)

To request more information, contact Ely O'Connor at 503.681.4463.

The Tualatin River is the only major natural water resource for Washington County.



The Tualatin River

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