IslandWood Programs

Community Waters Field Study

Designed to link to the Community Waters Science Unit.  Students will apply science and engineering practices as they take on the perspective of stakeholders to investigate what engineers have done at a local site to help with stormwater problems.

Cost: This program is provided free with funding from Seattle Public Utilities; bus subsidies available based on a school’s Free & Reduced Lunch Rate.

*As of June 2020, The Community Waters Field Study has been discontinued in Seattle as Seattle Public Schools shifts entirely to Amplify Science. We are working on developing NEW field trip and virtual programs for 2020-21 to enhance and localize some Amplify units! STAY TUNED!

School Overnight Program

This program extends classroom learning to the real world, engaging elementary-school students and their teachers in a hands-on exploration of stewardship, environmental learning, and teamwork. For four days and three nights, students use the environment as a catalyst for learning, practicing critical thinking and actions that build awareness for the well being of both people and our planet. The School Overnight Program is aligned with 4th-6th grade learning standards.

To support equitable access, we offer scholarships, have a Gear Library and support teachers’ recruitment efforts with at school orientations for students and parents (based on location; virtual options also available).

Cost: Scholarships are offered based on FRL%.

Brightwater School Programs

IslandWood offers three different School Day Programs in partnership with King County at the Brightwater Education Center in Woodinville. Our programs engage students in hands-on investigations and real-world problem solving related to wastewater, storm water, ecosystem services, and environmental engineering.

Cost: Programs are provided for 3rd – 8th grade classes at no cost to schools and free transportation is available to qualifying schools (25% or greater free and reduced lunch rates).

Other Programs Related To This Unit

Programs are in this category if the description provided seemed to have potential connections.  We have not observed all of these programs to make sure the connections are there.  Please let us know in the comments section below if you end up going.

Free Federal Lands Passes from Every Kid in a Park

This federal program offers free national lands passes to all 4th graders. Take advantage of this offer to provide free passes your students could use with their families or on a school trip to a national park.  Visit the website for field trip connections and a link to get passes. 

  • King County Metro now offers Trailhead Direct, public transportation options to popular hiking destinations in the Greater Seattle area

UW Botanic Gardens

Plants 201: 90-minute field trip examining the parts of a plant and their functions. Observation and data collection are used to understand the interconnections in nature. *To make more explicit connections with Community Waters, inquire about plant adaptations to retain water and prevent erosion. 

Wetlands 201: 90-minute field trip examining wetland biodiversity. Observation and data collection are used to understand the importance of preserving wetlands. Click on the links to read up on details, register online,  apply for field trip scholarship or a transportation scholarship.

Native Plants and People: 90-minute field trip examining the ways human cultures have been shaped by the ecosystems in which they exist. *To make more explicit connections with Community Waters, inquire about aquatic plants specifically or the function of plants in creating the landscape with which stormwater interacts (ie. How native plants deal with the volume of rain received in the Pacific NW).

Dates: September-June, rain or shine. Monday-Friday, 10am & 12pm.

Location: UW Botanic Gardens Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA 98112

Cost: $7.50/student, adults are free.

Maximum # of students: Spring season (75), Fall season (60)

Seattle Aquarium

On-site Classroom Programs

Discover the ways that human actions can negatively and positively affect tiny creatures like plankton (Puget Sound Plankton Discovery) all the way up to orcas (Orca Discovery) in these 60-minute programs. *To make more explicit connections with Community Waters, inquire about including stormwater in the impact discussion.

Click on the links to read up on details, register online,  apply for field trip scholarship or a transportation scholarship.

Dates: October – June. Monday-Friday 10:15am, noon, & 1:45pm. Two groups/time slot.

Location: Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA 98101

Cost: $10/student. Inquire about teacher planning pass. Scholarships available.

Number of Students: 10-32/group.

Off-site Classroom Programs

Explore the life cycle and needs of pacific salmon or other intertidal creatures and human factors can affect them. *Good connection if you are raising salmon at your school and looking to integrate them into Community Waters or if your school’s stormwater enters Puget Sound directly.

Dates: Beach Orientation (one hours in-class program, no date limitations), Beach field lab (1.5hr, April-August, tide dependent)

Location: Select beaches available based on school location.

Cost: $168/program (+$110/additional same-day program). Scholarships available.

Maximum # of Students: 32 students.

Nature Vision

Habitat Class & Field Programs

Two-part programs taking place in the classroom and a nearby park or pond. Related themes include salmon journeys, wetlands, and watersheds. There is also a forest walk exploring a nature theme of your choosing which could allow you to look at connections between stormwater and forest ecosystems. Additionally, Nature Vision offers classroom programs, some of which are free to schools with 50% or greater free and reduced lunch. One of these programs, “Watch the Flow”, looks at stormwater infrastructure and our impact on the water system which could complement Lesson 5 of Community Waters. *”Stream Connection” programs are a good option if you are raising salmon at your school and looking to integrate them into Community Waters.

Click on the links to read up on details, register online,  apply for field trip scholarship or a transportation scholarship.

Location: Based on school location.

Cost: $110 for each programs.  Check to see if there are free programs funded for your area: Scholarships

Maximum # of Students: 30 students.


Seattle Art Museum

This two-hour program uses the Olympic Sculpture Park as the context to explore the ways that built and natural environments interact. Followed by an art workshop based on their experience. *SAM notes that their programs can be tailored to specific curriculum needs: could they tie to what you have been looking at in Community Waters in a creative way?

Dates: April – June. Wed-Thurs at 10:20am.

Location: Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Cost: $200 standard/$100 reduced. Subsidized bus transportation available.

Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center

Environmental Engineering:  Looking specifically at the engineering design process and its application to aquatic habitats, the “Environmental Engineering” program uses the wetland to explore solutions. Alternatively, you can discover the function and inhabitants of a wetland in the “Wetland Naturalist” and “Ecosystem Explorers” programs. *The “Environmental Engineering” program is aimed at Grades 5-7. Limited financial assistance is available.

Dates: Seasonal discount Nov 1-Feb 28

Location: Mercer Slough, 1625 118th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98005

Cost: $182/16 students, $325/17-32 students, $458/33-48 students, $591/49-64 students

Financial Assistance Contact: 206-443-2925,

Pacific Science Center

Create a customizable field trip from options such as: engineering, climate (Puget Sound Model), health & wellness. Includes access to Pacific Science Center exhibits and pre-visit guides.

Location: Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Cost: $8-14/student

Contact: 206-443-2925

Environmental Science Center:

Beach Heroes

Get to know marine invertebrates in Puget Sound as well as the largest nearshore restoration project in Puget Sound. This NGSS-aligned field study includes a classroom introduction as well as a 2 hr beach exploration. Program and transportation subsidies available. *Good connection if your school’s stormwater makes its way to Puget Sound directly.

Dates: March-June

Location: Seahurst Park, 2220 SW Seahurst Park Rd, Burien, WA 98166

Cost: $150/class (<30 students). Program and transportation subsidies available. For financial assistance contact:

Additional Options to Consider:

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Free, hour-long tours delve into the functioning and purpose of the locks. *Good connection if your school’s stormwater makes its way to Puget Sound through the locks.

Dates: March 1-November 30

Location: 3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107

Cost: Free

Contact: 206-783-7059

Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center

Housed in a traditional cedar post and beam Longhouse, the Duwamish Cultural Center features artifacts and photos exhibiting the Duwamish Tribe’s ongoing culture and heritage. A reservation is required for field trips to schedule a guide.

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10am-5pm

Location: 4705 W Marginal SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Cost: Group Rate available upon booking

Contact: 206-431-1582

Self-Guided Options:

UW Botanic Gardens: Explorer Pack                                                                         

Backpacks filled pre-packed with supplies to explore the Arboretum as a class. Includes field guides, scavenger hunts, magnifying glasses, and activity ideas. Most directly related packs include Marsh Madnesss (above and below water exploration) and Sense of Winter (plant diversity and winter adaptations, available March-June). *Good connection if your school’s stormwater enters Lake Washington at the Yesler Swamp.

Hours: 48hrs notice required to rent.

Pick up: Graham Visitor Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA 98112

Cost: $20/pack for a 2-hour rental. Each pack has supplies for 15 students.

Contact: 206-685-8033,

Seattle Aquarium: Self-Guided Beach Walk

Material available to lead your own beach walk. Including: orientation video, chaperone guide, and ecosystem-specific identification guides. *Great connection if your school’s stormwater enters Puget Sound directly. See if you can see evidence of stormwater problems, solutions, or infrastructure and how that might impact the marine creatures you identify.

Cost: Free. Inquire about teacher planning pass.