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Conservation group receives grant

 

October 10, 2018

Contributed

GREAT OUTDOORS: Trout Unlimited kids get exposure to a wide range of outdoor activities.

The Klickitat Trout Unlimited Chapter received notice that their proposed STEM camp for local students was chosen out of a national pool of applicants for funding. The volunteer driven coldwater conservation group decided to submit a project proposal to the Trout Unlimited's national Embrace A Stream Grant program to offer a fun, engaging and affordable environmental education opportunity for local youth.

Since 1975, the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream Grant program has funded coldwater conservation efforts across the country. Over the last four decades, Embrace A Stream has funded more than 1,200 individual projects with more than $4.6 million in direct cash grants. Grant recipients have leveraged Embrace A Stream funds by contributing an additional $14 million in contributions to funded projects, for a total investment of nearly $19 million to restore stream habitat, improve fish passage, and protect water quality from coast to coast while connecting people and communities through conservation.

Klickitat Trout Unlimited board member Laurie Wilhite suggested the chapter apply for the grant to offer a Trout Unlimited program called STREAM. STREAM takes the traditional concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and incorporates recreation and art to engage participants in a holistic learning experience in the great outdoors. Wilhite is an experienced grant writer as well as an educator. She took the lead in organizing this grant opportunity which resulted in a $4,600 investment from the Embrace A Stream program as well as an opportunity to crowdsource funds online during the November Embrace A Stream Challenge which could result in additional financial support from Orvis and Trout Unlimited.

In addition to the funding from the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream Program, the Klickitat Trout Unlimited's STREAM Explorers Camp is funded by generous donations from the Washington Council of Trout Unlimited, Goldendale Kiwanis, Goldendale Grange, Soroptimists International of Goldendale, Gorge Networks, Allen's Building Center, Klickitat County 4-H, Skookum Resources, Klickitat TU members and additional donors who prefer to remain anonymous. Due to the generous donations received, camp registration is $25 with financial assistance available for those in need as well as a plan to offer similar activities in the future. For a full list of donors, visit Klickitat Trout Unlimited's social media accounts.

The chapter will offer a fall weekend of watershed exploration, new friends and fun through their STREAM Explorers Camp starting the evening of Oct. 19 through Oct. 21. With aquatic bug investigation, stream dynamics, watershed reflections and introductions to fly fishing, fly tying and nature art, the camp is designed to provide social and academic opportunities for local 4th through 6th graders at Brooks Memorial State Park outside of Goldendale. While space is limited, there are some spaces still available for campers. Families interested in learning more about camp can contact the Klickitat Trout Unlimited Chapter at (907) 205-0974 or find the chapter on social media.

If you are wondering how you might support the STREAM experience for local youth, consider inviting friends to register their 4th through 6th graders for camp and/or donate to the Klickitat Trout Unlimited's Embrace A Stream Challenge crowdfunding effort online, Nov. 5 through Nov. 11. A donation will garner additional funds for future efforts to bring the Klickitat Trout Unlimited's mission to conserve, protect, restore, and sustain coldwater in Klickitat County to life.

 

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