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.


New Video: Bridgeport Elementary at Nyberg Wetland

Megan Garvey, TWC Urban Land Steward, spends the month of May in classrooms and wetlands with 4th and 5th graders.  The students first learn about beavers in the classroom with…

Can You Deceive a Beaver? Sometimes!!

There is a lot of talk right now about living with beaver in urban landscapes.  Beavers are helping to store water in drought times and build habitat for many of…

beaver dam

We Found Them All, Now What?

If you’ve never buckled into a pair of waders and tried to walk through a mosaic of deep channels and 10 foot tall cattails, it may be hard to imagine…

Purple loosestrife

Goodbye Purple Loosestrife

Tillamook Soil and Water Conservation District and Oregon State Parks are testing the use of Hylobius weevils to control purple loosestrife at The Wetlands Conservancy’s Doris Davis Wetland Preserve in…

Four volunteers met at our Cedar Mill preserve in Beaverton to walk the wetland in search of beaver dams. Megan Garvey explain the process, route and how to record data.

Photo Story: Beaver Monitoring 2018

As water in our wetlands starts to recede from summer heat, beavers start to get busy, building dams. It is also the time of year when juvenile beavers leave their…

outdoor education

Student Beaver Believers

Visiting wetlands in the spring can be quite the experience.  Rain, deep sticky mud, possible salamander and frog siting’s, tracks from beavers.  What sounds like a wilderness experience, is actually…

13th Annual Marbled Murrelet Community Science Survey

We rolled out of our sleeping bags at 5 a.m. and stumbled down to the Cape Perpetua camp ground parking lot  with the hopes of hearing and seeing Marbled Murrelets, as they flew…

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…