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.
Jackie Lacey from Kimbark Elementary School in San Bernardino and her environmentally minded fifth and sixth graders participated in the October 2017 egg delivery. Mrs. Lacey received training from CDFW and supplies and classroom presentations from IERCD. After six to eight weeks the Rainbow Trout raised in the classroom were not successful and so CDFW Hillary Grez contacted a local group scheduled to release on the same day that was willing to share their fish. During the Release event at Lytle Creek on November 29th, 2017 staff members from IERCD, Inland Empire Waterkeeper, and CDFW led stations to educate the students on healthy habitats. The stations consisted of; water quality (Inland Empire Waterkeeper), anatomy and dissection (CDFW), wildlife (IERCD), plants (IERCD), aquatic entomology (CDFW), casting (IERCD), and trout release (IERCD and CDFW).
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 and release 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 programs, workshops, or events please visit www.iercd.org or call (909) 799-7407.