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The 2013-2014 school year has begun; and with it, we've been busy with SUSTAIN activities in seven area schools - four in Spokane and three in North Idaho! This year, we're working with:

Spokane Area North Idaho
The Community School Lake City High School
M.E.A.D. Alternative
Post Falls High School
Bancroft School
St. Maries High School
On Track Academy                                                                                                       

Welcome to Project SUSTAIN! 

Our goa
l is to restore the connection between youth and nature by enabling students to get outside, practice field science, be physically-active, and become better environmental stewards. 

Recognizing the challenges that school districts face in funding field
trips for high school science classes, TLC partners with local businesses and foundations to fund school field trips that engage students in hands-on, science-based educational activities and community service projects to enhance their classroom learning.  Our field trips encourage active outdoor recreation activities including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, and snowshoeing; and community service projects such as tree plantings and stream/lake clean-ups.  It is our intention that Project SUSTAIN will-on a local level-begin to help reverse the so-called "nature deficit disorder" trend found in American kids today.

Funding covers field trip transportation costs, lesson plan materials, activities, curriculum development and planning, and other associated expenses throughout the school year, giving kids a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom in an outdoor setting.  This outdoor learning component closely aligns with state standards, school curricula, and individual teachers' preferences, and incorporates Lands Council programs focusing on forests, water, wildlife, and sustainability as appropriate.  

TLC provides teachers with an extensive menu of local field trip options and in-class lesson plans, teaches the classes, and facilitates the activities.  Participating SUSTAIN schools in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene area are entitled to funding which covers expenses associated with 4 field trips and up to 10 hours of TLC-led in-class lessons during the school year. 

Project SUSTAIN field trips are carried out through in-kind donations from the following partners: Idaho Department of Fish & Game, IdaH2O Master Water Stewards Program, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Gonzaga Outdoors, Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Spokane County Parks, Fighting Creek Landfill, Coeur d'Alene Wastewater Treatment Plant, Upriver Dam, Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area, Heron Pond Farms, USDA Forest Service, City of Spokane Waste to Energy Plant, and Bureau of Land Management.

This year, TLC will be partnering in the University of Idaho's Waters of the West (WoW) Confluence Project!

Read this story in the Spokesman Review about the latest trip to Mt. Spokane!  

Project SUSTAIN gives students in our community the unique and worthy opportunity to break out of the traditional classroom setting and create meaningful connections with the natural world.  By getting kids outside, we strive to empower the leaders of tomorrow with the knowledge and passion to become-and remain-good stewards of the environment we're working so hard to protect today.  Our vision is that through Project SUSTAIN, kids will develop lasting relationships with the natural world and acquire skills that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.  By transferring our appreciation and respect for our forests, water, and wildlife to our community's youth, we are directly investing in the future of our environment.

Each year, we hold an essay contest and ask students to-in 750 words or less-describe how Project SUSTAIN has impacted their education and their lives.  Following are excerpts from essays written by this year's SUSTAIN students:

"I really enjoyed this activity because it made me feel like I participated in something bigger than myself and really gave back to the environment."  -Micah 

"Project SUSTAIN activities have helped me to realize my love for being outdoors, and better respect the nature all around us."  -Alyssa 

"I have found out through Project SUSTAIN that I, as a teen and when I become older, can help contribute to my community's sustainability."  -Rhegan 

"Project SUSTAIN has impacted my life in such a positive way.  I am now able to say I have gone ice fishing and snowshoeing which I had never had the chance to do before."  -Kailey 

"Project SUSTAIN taught me that if I ever plan on building a house or starting a business, I should do it in a way that can be as sustainable as possible."  -Isaac 

"Project SUSTAIN made water quality matter."  -Samantha 

"I can tell you from my personal experience that if kids had more opportunities like the ones that The Lands Council provides, education would not be something that children felt forced into, but rather happy and maybe even excited for."  -Dustin

 "I can truly say with confidence that the two field trips The Lands Council has funded for our class have taught me more real life information than the past four years of science classes combined."  -Tanner 

"The greatest part of Project SUSTAIN is the fact that as a student and someone that is trying to develop their own environmental philosophy, I have been able to take a different outlook on how I live my life and what roles the environment and local ecosystems play in it."  -Kelsey

"This has been one of my most treasured years and it is all because of Project SUSTAIN."  -Julianne

"Project SUSTAIN has had the greatest, most extensive impact on my education to date."  -Richie

Read about the collaborative project three of our North Idaho schools are taking on this year in an article written by science teacher, Jamie Esler from Lake City HS here.

For more information on this project, contact Kat Hall, Conservation Programs Director.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this project, contact
Lisa Logan, Director of Development & Communications.

Congratulations to Kat Hall and her team from Post Falls High School!

They were one out of three groups out of 14 to win $1,500 for project SUSTAIN at the Outdoor Nation summit in Seattle!  Great job team!

2013-2014 Project SUSTAIN Sponsors:
Thank you for making our project possible!


Pura Vida Homes


University of Idaho

Project SUSTAIN Info/Resources:

SUSTAIN Curriculum
Review the complex and unique curriculum TLC has created for Project SUSTAIN.

Fall SUSTAIN Update
Read the highlights of 2012-2013 Project SUSTAIN.


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