California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 9a Newsletter (San Diego and Imperial Counties)
Spring 2017

Welcome Back to Sunny Days! 
  Image - Martin LaBar (Flickr)

Spring is my favorite season in San Diego. We get after-school daylight back, the caterpillars are building cocoons, birds are out enjoying the blooms, and the world just feels rejuvenated. Celebrate the outdoor time by attending one of our local workshops or the Earth Day Festival in Balboa Park. We have two big marches scheduled for this season with the March for Science on Earth Day and People's Climate March San Diego happening the last Saturday of April. Enjoy the sun, blooms, and opportunities for investigating the world!

- Crystal Howe, CREEC Coordinator, Region 9a
What's New in Region 9a?

Teachers on the Estuary!

See and experience science being done at Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (Tijuana Estuary) and learn how you can use it to enhance your teaching.
Click here for more information.

Energize Schools Competition

Energize Schools is hosting a state-wide Earth Day Campaign Contest. The high school with the best Earth Day Campaign will win a prize valued at over $1,000.  Contest ends on  May 1st.
Learn more about the contest and how you can participate here

Exploring Oceans STEM Careers
Students can explore scientist tables around the aquarium as they learn about tools of the trade, hear inspiring career path stories, and ask questions. Over 20 scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and UC San Diego will be available to talk with students and their parents.
Click here to register.

EEI at The Water Conservation Garden!
Gain access to free curriculum by the California Education
& the Environment Initiative (EEI) that teaches science,
history and English language arts through an environmental
lens, aligned with NGSS and State Standards. Discover how
you can pair EEI units with a Ms. Smarty-Plants fieldtrip
at The Water Conservation Garden.
Register  here.
Local Events



Escondido Families Get Out In Nature (GOIN)
Throughout the school year, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy organizes weekend trips from Escondido elementary schools, giving students who have taken field trips to the lagoon the chance to bring their families back for a day of nature connection and community service.

So far, Central and Lincoln Elementary have done service projects at the San Elijo Lagoon's native plant nursery and at restoration sites on the trail, and Felicita Elementary has given back to their local Felicita County Park with a native plant project and a special program from the rangers. Coming up, other schools will visit local natural places such as Lake Hodges and Elfin Forest to explore nature, learn about the watershed, and take action to protect it!

Here are some highlights so far:

Central and Lincoln Elementary students made a huge impact on our  watershed  by planting seeds in over 1,100 rose pots at our nursery and by planting native plants at a restoration site on the Santa Carina trail. The students also got to explore the lagoon with their families with a hike, an observation activity, and interactions with the rangers and a tortoise named Franklin. One group spotted a rattlesnake, and another had fun searching for trapdoor spider homes in the cliffside.

Felicita Elementary students ventured to their namesake's local park, Felicita County Park in Escondido, for a day of ranger presentations, hiking, and 
planting native plants. Students and families used all their senses: they touched pelts of rabbit, coyote, and bear; they heard the calls of a red-shouldered hawk; they smelled the sweet leaves of sagebrush; they examined tree rings and fungus and cactus needles with their hand lenses. They saw where native Kumeyaay people ground acorns in mortar holes in the rock. They worked in teams to plant native toyons to help beautify the park. And the best part: they discovered a natural place close to their school that they can revisit with their families!


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding Resources
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

In San Diego/Imperial, CREEC is housed and supported by San Diego County Office of Education  Crystal Howe,

STAY CONNECTED WITH US Like us on Facebook

View the Newsletter Archive

Sign up, update your email address, or change your newsletter subscription preferences by typing your email address in the " Newsletter Subscription" box.