PERK members have participated in the previous meetings; we hope you can join tomorrow, on Thursday April 18, 2019:
Join us on Thursday, April 18th at Finn Hill Middle School (8040 NE 132nd Street, Kirkland, WA 98034) for the third of three public meetings to discuss proposed alternatives for the St. Edward Environmental Education and Research Center (EERC). The EERC will be housed on the St. Edward seminary campus and serve as a regional hub for field learning and environmental research opportunities for students, neighbors and park visitors.
At its April 18th meeting, the EERC Planning Team will present a set of proposed program components for the operation and management of the St. Edward EERC. Building upon months of research, conversation and planning with community members and educators, the program components will address several key themes:
Community Science for Stewardship
There is strong interest from neighbors and educators in discovering the real-world science unfolding at St. Edward State Park. Local colleges and community members want to be involved in research on plant, birds and wildlife–and they want to help use this knowledge to guide stewardship and restoration within the park.
Science learning is strengthened by field study, and while Washington state has strong environmental education programs, only 20% of students statewide are being served. Local nature-based educators cannot meet current demand, and area school districts stand to benefit from increased programming in their backyard.
Environmental education programs coupled with strong mentorship programs can provide pathways to education and careers in STEM-related fields. This begins with preschoolers exploring, for example, puddles and continues through to high school students working with undergraduate mentors on water quality surveys and watershed health.
The St. Edward State Park EERC planning process is a joint project of Washington State Parks and the University of Washington-Bothell. Following the April 18th meeting, the EERC Planning Team will develop a set of recommendations and proposed business plan to be delivered to the State Parks Commission by June. For more information, visit https://www.uwb.edu/research/facilities/st-edward.
About St. Edward State Park
St. Edward is the among the most heavily used of Washington’s state parks. Its forested slopes, undeveloped shoreline, streams and wetlands are home to bats, owls, woodpeckers, deer, and other wildlife. Its trails attract walkers, trail runners and mountain bikers year-round.
The former St. Edward Seminary, now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, is currently under renovation by Daniels Real Estate, LLC, a private development firm specializing in historic preservation. The building will open as an 82-room lodge in 2020, with a portion of the complex repurposed to house the St. Edward Environment and Education Research Center.
Hope to see you there!