Education & Outreach

The Santa Fe Watershed Association’s education program provides opportunities for locals to experience the Santa Fe River and its watershed through both school and public programs.  Programs are designed to highlight a variety of ecosystems and explore ways that humans impact water and water impacts humans.

All programs are coordinated by the Santa Fe Watershed Association’s Co-Education Directors, who together have over 35 years of experience in wildlife science and environmental education, and have taught thousands of New Mexico’s children and adults in outdoor classrooms.

School Programs

My Water, My Watershed

My Water, My Watershed is an experiential, inquiry-based program for fourth and fifth grade Santa Fe Public School students to study and explore their watershed, learning about the complex relationships between living things and their environment. This program has been aligned with New Mexico science standards and benchmarks to compliment classroom education.

Student Monitoring

Working with Santa Fe middle and high school students, student monitoring occurs at a study site between Nichols and McClure Reservoirs in the Upper Watershed.  Each class is provided with a pre-visit to the classroom to map out the Santa Fe River Watershed and introduce field collection techniques.  During a field trip to the Upper Watershed, students collect data including water quality variables, benthic macroinvertebrates, and canopy cover. Data is summarized, interpreted, and made available to local decision makers.

Are you a local teacher interested in exploring a subject area not covered in the My Water, My Watershed or Student Monitoring programs? Please contact us! E-mail janie@santafewatershed.org or call (505) 820-1696.

Public Programs

Upper Santa Fe Watershed Hikes

Closed to the public since 1932, the Upper Santa Fe Watershed has undergone a dramatic transformation during the last decade to protect our watershed and water supply.  Using management tools such as mechanical thinning and prescribed burning, the City of Santa Fe and U.S. Forest Service along with the Santa Fe Watershed Association have been working over the last several years to restore the forest.

These tours are your opportunity to learn about the restoration efforts and catch a glimpse of this nearly pristine forest that supplies 45% of the City’s drinking water supply.  During a 5 mile roundtrip hike through The Nature Conservancy’s Santa Fe Canyon Preserve and the Upper Santa Fe Watershed, experts from the Santa Fe Watershed Association, the City of Santa Fe, and U.S. Forest Service lead participants on a visit to Nichols Reservoir, beaver lodges and dams, and cover topics such as the history of Santa Fe’s drinking water supply, how the reservoir systems work, forest thinning and healthy forest ecology, the role of beavers in our watershed, and other topics about the ecology of the Santa Fe Watershed.

NM Climate Masters

The purpose of a NM Climate Masters course is to provide 30 hours of in-class programming and a field trip opportunity to participants over a 10 week time frame. The programming is designed to provide ideas of how we can reduce our carbon footprints through a variety of ways including transportation, energy conservation, waste, consumption, food, and water issues.  Upon completion of the program, participants create and implement a 30 hour service project in the community. This project has two objectives for the participants: 1) Serve as a positive messenger of how we as individuals and a community can reduce our carbon footprint. 2) Incorporate the learned material into a small-scale, community service effort.

Santa Fe River Watershed Festival

On December 10, 2008, the Santa Fe City Council adopted a resolution establishing the continued collaboration of the Fishing Derby and Watershed Festival on the first Saturday of June.  During the fishing derby, the Santa Fe Watershed Association along with partner organizations provides hands-on, family friendly activities focusing on the river, watershed, and the ecosystems that depend upon both.  In the evening, all-ages events are held to provide fun river and water activities for the whole family.  Stay tuned for more detailed information on the planned activities for the 2013 Santa Fe River Watershed Festival!

Recycled Art Contests

Periodically, the Santa Fe Watershed Association hosts Recycled Art Contests.  These events use items collected from Santa Fe River cleanups where participants, both youth and adults, turn trash into ART!    Art pieces are judged by local artists and winning pieces are displayed at events such as the prominent Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival held in November. For information on the 2012 Recycled Art Contest, contact Robin Hilliard: raquel@santafewatershed.org

Community Tree Plantings

In an effort to restore the Santa Fe River, the Santa Fe Watershed Association coordinates community plantings of native vegetation.  This is an opportunity for both young and old to get their hands dirty and contribute to restoring the Santa Fe River.  If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Raquel: raquel@santafewatershed.org