Redlands, CA – The Classroom Aquarium Education Program, known regionally as Trout in the Classroom, is regulated by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW supplies the trout eggs to the classrooms and partners with sponsors to provide the necessary equipment and support for teachers. Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) sponsors teachers from within their District boundaries to participate in this program. The goals of the Trout in the Classroom program are to introduce students to aquatic environments and to instill a sense of responsibility for natural habitats.
Karen Culbert from Mount Vernon Elementary in San Bernardino and her second graders participated in the January 2019 egg delivery. She received training from CDFW and supplies and classroom presentations from IERCD. During the release event on February 25th, 2019 staff members from IERCD, California State University of San Bernardino, and CDFW led stations to educate the students on healthy habitats. The stations consisted of; water quality (Dr. Jennifer Alford from California State University of San Bernardino), wildlife (IERCD), plants (IERCD), aquatic entomology (IERCD), casting (CDFW), and trout release (IERCD).
The Mount Vernon Elementary students, their teacher, and parent chaperones enjoyed the educational stations. Chris Palmer, Public Affairs Field Coordinator from California Special Districts Association (CSDA), stopped by to observe IERCD in action during the release event. Mr. Palmer held aquatic insects gathered from Lytle Creek and released a Rainbow Trout. It was a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun! The hope is to continue the program and allow other teachers throughout IERCD’s large service area to produce more environmentally educated students with authentic experiences caring for wildlife.
The IERCD is a public agency that provides preservation, restoration, education and outreach services to over 25 cities and unincorporated communities in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The District operates under the guiding principle that the quality of the environment determines the corresponding quality of life, and works accordingly to improve local habitat sustainability for the benefit of all area dependent species. The Trout in the Classroom program is just one of the many events planned and/or participated in by District Board and staff, in an effort to spread the message of the importance of conservation of natural resources.
If you would like to know more about IERCD or participate in any workshops or events please visit www.iercd.org or call (909) 799-7407.