Community Science & Education

Through community science and elementary education, The Wetlands Conservancy (TWC) is building a new community of wetland ambassadors and stewards. We have chosen native amphibians and beavers as two species to invite exploration and learning about our wetlands. Our elementary education program studies the American Beaver both in the classroom and out in wetlands.  Community science volunteers have conducted studies about our native amphibian and beaver populations in our urban wetlands. Both of these species help us better understand the impact wetlands have on our water, wildlife and built communities.

Community Science

We engage members of the public to help us better understand  the ecology, biology and current impacts our wetlands are facing in our urban community.  These volunteer efforts play an invaluable role in helping us track, understand and manage our wetland preserves. By identifying amphibian and beaver populations throughout the metro area, we have a greater understanding of citywide trends for these indicator species. Participation in these projects is a great way to have fun, learn about the natural world, and make a difference for our wetland wildlife.

Beaver costume

Elementary Education

Many Washington County schools are just a short walk from incredible urban wetlands. Starting in 2016 TWC began teaching 4th and 5th graders the importance of their state animal, the North American Beaver.  Through both in classroom lessons and outdoor wetlands explorations, students get a first hand look at why beavers are considered a keystone species and how they can positively impact our urban built communities.


Beaver Monitoring Pilot Gets Started

On the very first hot day of the year, 30 Portland Community College biology students put on their waders and started ducking under bushes, finding pathways through mud and wading…

amphibian monitoring

Cold Chilly Morning for Amphibians

On Sunday morning, I woke up to rain flooding the streets in my neighborhood.  I packed my vehicle full of chest waders, and I drove south on I-5 where I…

Northwestern Salamander egg mass

Finding Frogs and Salamanders: Amphibian Monitoring 2017

January 21st kicked off our 2017 Amphibian Monitoring trainings in partnership with Metro, Clean Water Services and Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec. Over the next two months, citizen science volunteers…

The ‘SEEDs’ of Change

After two years of volunteering with TWC, Mt Hood Community College SEED (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development) students are returning to their home countries. These students, from around the…

Year one results of Egg Mass surveys in Portland Metro Area and Coos Bay

Our amphibian citizen science program shows that amphibians love our preserves, both in the Portland Metro area, and on the coast. Preliminary results showed the presence of more than 1,000 egg…

Celebrate American Wetlands Month: Explore! Learn! Take Action!

This May marks the 24th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a time when federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector organizations celebrate the importance of wetlands. The month long…

8th grade scientists in Coos Bay love their amphibians

Master Watershed Stewards from Marshfield High School spent two afternoons this winter learning about amphibians and being trained to identify and monitor their presence based on adults and egg masses surveyed in…

Sixth graders of Eddyville Charter School unearth a massive mystery on a coastal TWC preserve

All of the soil on earth tells a story.  The soil at our Happ Wetland Preserve in Seal Rock, Oregon tells the story of the massive earthquake and tsunami of…

Spring amphibian surveys are underway!

This spring, with the help of amphibian expert Katie Holzer, our urban land stewards Megan and Kaegan have launched an amphibian survey program to monitor amphibian populations on six of…

TWC Launches Urban Preserve Report Card Project

Last spring a beaver dam at our Hedges Creek Preserve (Tualatin) was breached by vandals, resulting in water levels dropping by a few feet in the beaver pond above.