Summer Educational Programming: Camp Astoria
This summer, students aged seven to seventeen are engaging in place-based education and community service at the site of Astoria’s future riverside 100-acre park. Astoria Park Conservancy has partnered with various community organizations, including Teton Conservation District, JH Trout Unlimited, Teton County Weed and Pest, and Protect Our Water Jackson Hole, to provide an immersive and impactful introduction to community involvement. Together, we offer half-day educational opportunities coupled with half-day action and community service projects. The program’s ultimate goal is to inspire students to become future conservationists by providing accessible and engaging learning experiences that allow them to contribute meaningfully to their community.
Ensuring accessibility and inclusivity in all of our operations at the Astoria Park Conservancy is of utmost importance. We create educational opportunities and develop resources that lay a strong foundation for our students. Furthermore, we collaborate with local groups to offer student scholarships, ensuring that individuals facing financial or social barriers can participate in our local educational programs. Our partnerships with Coombs Outdoors, City Kids, Teton County Parks and Recreation, and the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum help us identify and address hidden access gaps, guaranteeing everyone can benefit from our programs.
The successful launch of this pilot program would not have been possible without the generous funding from the Teton Conservation District’s Partners in Conservation grant and the Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy grant. We extend our gratitude for their support.
Teachable Moment + Service Opportunity #1:
After a beaver helped itself to two of Astoria’s Aspen trees, Camp Astoria participants took action by wrapping neighboring trees with wire to prevent further gnawing. In the process, they also learned about the fascinating adaptations of beavers.
Acknowledgments: Astoria extends gratitude to David Lee of Teton Conservation District and Cody Pitz of the Wyoming Wetland Society for their invaluable advice and support.
Teachable Moment + Service Opportunity #2:
Camp Astoria kids actively learned about using macroinvertebrates as indicators of water quality and subsequently collected samples from the ponds at Astoria’s future riverside park. They successfully identified over 50 species, and this data will serve as the baseline for future assessments.
Acknowledgments: A heartfelt thanks goes to Maggie Heumann of JH Trout Unlimited, whose extensive knowledge inspired and guided the kids throughout two days of Camp Astoria!