Niki, AmeriCorps VISTA with MRWC, and Tyler from IAE teach a 3rd grade class about birds.

The Compañeros en la Naturaleza (Peers in Nature) program connects young students in Guanajuato, Mexico with dual language (Spanish-English) students in Oregon at Lincoln and Garfield Elementary schools in Corvallis, South Shore Elementary in Albany, and El Puente Bilingual Elementary in Milwaukie. Students in both countries learn about watershed health, migratory birds, insects, water quality, and a range of environmental health topics dealing with the Willamette River in Oregon and the Rio Laja in Mexico. Students share their findings through letter exchanges and video chats.

The Corvallis third-grade students also participate in field trips to Bald Hill Farm, where they engage in hands-on environmental activities and a restoration project with the help of trained high school peer mentors from our Peer Mentor Program.

Beginning in 2020, four high school classes in the Corvallis/Philomath area will also engage in inquiry-based outdoor field lessons to learn watershed concepts.

The Compañeros en la Naturaleza is in alignment with the Willamette-Laja Twinning Partnership. 

This program is supported by the Institute for Applied Ecology and Greenbelt Land Trust with generous financial sponsorship by the Gray Family Foundation, Trust Management Services, and the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation.