OLYMPIA, WA – Get a backstage pass to what’s happening in the Nisqually Watershed! Sign-ups are open now for the 2019 Nisqually Stream Stewards Program, which runs this summer on Thursday evenings and Saturdays starting July 11. Want to work alongside natural resource professionals, become a citizen scientist, and learn how to protect and restore waterways in your community? Nisqually Stream Stewards is your opportunity to get involved in keeping the Nisqually healthy and sustainable.

Nisqually Stream Stewards is a joint program of the Nisqually River Council and the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Department, in partnership with other local conservation organizations.

Over the summer, Stream Stewards attend 40 hours of classes, field trips, and hands-on trainings led by experts from Mount Rainier National Park, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Billy Frank Jr.. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, University of Washington’s Center for Sustainable Forestry, and many more organizations up and down the watershed.

The classes give Stream Stewards a behind-the-scenes understanding of the geologic, environmental, and cultural significance of the Nisqually. In exchange, they commit to donating 40 hours of volunteer time in the watershed over the next year.

Stream Stewards monitor water quality, lead environmental education field trips, survey spawning salmon, collect biodiversity data, restore riparian areas, and help with community conservation and stewardship events like the annual Nisqually Watershed Festival. 2018’s class of Stream Stewards have helped with a cleanup on the Nisqually River, logged many hours of forage fish data, and worked with a Girl Scout troop to begin restoring a Nisqually Land Trust property with native trees and plants.

Classes meet on Thursday evenings and four Saturday mornings from July 11, 2019 through September 28, 2019. Registration is free, and open now. The class is limited to 30 participants a year and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nisqually Stream Stewards is open to people of all ages and abilities who are enthusiastic about learning about the environment and becoming a more effective volunteer for the watershed. Youth under 16 should attend with an adult chaperone.

To learn more and sign up, visit the Nisqually Stream Stewards website at http://nisquallyriver.org/stream-stewards/, or email streamstewards@nisquallyriver.org