Golden View Meets FLOW
By Jerry Donohue

FLOW's first elementary school classThis fall, Golden View Elementary became the first k-5th grade
school to participate in FLOW. Photo by Monica Hines.
A key part of the California State Parks Foundation grant the Amigos recently received was creating curriculum for the FLOW program that was suitable for Kindergarten through 5th grade students. Another key part of the California State Parks Foundation grant was to bring new students to State Parks and Beaches. Once the new curriculum was completed, we then needed to enlist teachers who would bring their students on a FLOW Field Trip. Last summer the Amigos held an Educators Day workshop to introduce teachers to FLOW and our wetland tours. It was there we met Monica Hines, a second grade teacher from Golden View Elementary School in Huntington Beach. Monica was especially interested in the FLOW program since she wanted to integrate microscopes into her environmental science curriculum.

Golden View is a K-5 Environmental Science School. They have a 2.5 acre farm which has chickens, rabbits and a goat. Each class also has a designated garden bed to grow produce. This seemed the ideal school to be the first elementary school to participate in FLOW. Monica Hine’s interest in FLOW bloomed into four busloads totaling 190 students who spent three days in November and December visiting the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Bolsa Chica State Beach on FLOW Field Trips.

These young students participated in the FLOW program identifying phytoplankton and testing water quality. Water quality testing allowed students to use nets to collect plankton during their mini tour of the wetlands. Back at the State Beach Visitor Center, students looked through microscopes and circled corresponding plankton on their worksheets. With chemical tests they determined what nutrient levels (phosphates, nitrates and ammonia) were present in the water during the fall time frame. The Amigos plans to visit the campus in the spring and bring microscopes and water chemistry gear along with spring water samples to determine seasonal change.

The Amigos has been eager to partner with more local schools hoping that their proximity to the Bolsa Chica would elicit greater participation in our education programs as well as greater environmental awareness in the community. We look forward to a long term relationship with this remarkable school.