Student Projects

Otay River Watershed Project

Authors: Julia Jacobsen, Katie Meyers

Grade: 4th

Subjects: Language Arts, Science

Two children walking with a white bucket
Children examining a partially covered mushroom
Children testing water quality
Girl sitting in a chair, reading to the class
Girl holding a plant
Group shot
Girl standing on a rock
9 children jumping in the air
hiking on a long trail behind HTECV
Children exploring the outdoors
Bird Drawing
Bird Drawing

How can we protect the wildlife in the Otay River Watershed?

Why should we care about nature? How can we help others to care about nature? This project launched with a two-day experience immersed in nature. Students camped at Observatory Campground on Palomar Mountain, explored the natural surroundings, and captured their wonderings. Upon returning to school, students continued to explore the outdoors. While hiking in the trails behind our school, and exploring the San Diego River Watershed over a three day expedition with the San Diego River Foundation, students observed wildlife and human impacts on natural habitat. To help others build empathy for native wildlife in our watershed, students fictional stories starring native animals. The stories were based on student research about the animals, and were written help the reader connect with that animal’s experience. Students illustrated their stories with a drawing of their animal.

“I used to think that hiking is really boring and a lot of walking. Now I think it is still a lot of walking, but it is fun and cool!” – Ahastari


“I used to think that going outside was wasting my “fun” time (fun time is playing video games.) Now I think going outside is fun time! You can do a lot of cool things!” – Carlo


“I used to think that nature was really boring and you couldn’t do anything with it. Now I think that you can actually help the watershed and pull out some invasive plants.” – Eli


“I used to think that plants are plants. Now I think that there’s native plants and there’s also invasive plants.” – Joaquin