BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 551

Chinese students learn at Cosumnes River Preserve

students learn how to handle canoes

Students from Galt and China learned both cross-cultural communication and paddling skills during a visit to the Cosumnes River Preserve last week.

Eight students and their teachers from the Hunan Province in Central China joined students and staff from Galt Joint Union School District for a canoe trip on the Cosumnes River. Preserve volunteers helped the students with their canoeing skills and led a tour down the river.

“When children experience nature they can make connections to what they are learning in the classroom. Outdoor activities promote cognitive development and thinking skills, in addition to leading to long-term health and wellness,” said John Durant, service learning coordinator for the school district.  Through the partnership with the Cosumnes River Preserve, the school district provides unique and personalized learning experiences for all students, he said.

The Cosumnes River Preserve is nationally recognized for its multi-agency partnership. The lands on the Preserve are cooperatively owned and managed by the following public, private and non-profit partners: U.S. Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy, Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks, California Department of Fish and Game, Ducks Unlimited, California Department of Water Resources, California State Lands Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Galt Joint Union Elementary School District.  

The visit was part of a three-week trip around California. Edith Crawford, former assistant superintendent with the Galt High School District, visited the Hunan school in March. Mira Loma High School in Sacramento has the town as a sister school.

Based on that contact, arrangements were made for the group to visit California.

Although the stop includes Disneyland and some other traditional attractions, Crawford said she also wanted students to see some of the natural areas of California. Even though they were raised in town, students have grandparents who were farmers and so have a connection to the land.

The group will go to Lake Tahoe, see local attractions like Apple Hill, Coloma and Locke, then head down the coast for southern California.

students get into flotation devices

students gather with their teachers for a group photo

two girls paddle a canoe

heading far down the river

-  David Christy, BLM Central California Public Affairs (September 2012)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 551 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.