Author Archives: Amy McInerney

Sign Up Your Class for Fall 2018 Lessons!

Bring a group or class of 10-60 students to the Outdoor Classroom for our Fall 2018 Season. This fall, our teaching theme is Water Ecology & the Ecosystem! 

The Fall Season runs from September 20th – November 2nd, 2018. Classes are filled first come first serve. Please email Amy for availability and to sign your classroom up for a day of lessons!

UPDATE: We are almost ready to begin scheduling for lessons in Spring 2019. The season will run from April 30, 2019 – June 7, 2019, excluding Mondays. Please inquire with Amy for availability. 

Please visit THIS PAGE for Outdoor Classroom and lesson details, and to contact Amy for availability! 

Volunteer Teachers Needed at the Outdoor Classroom!

Share your love of the environment! Outdoor Classroom Volunteer Teachers Needed

Volunteers provide school aged children in our community memorable half-day nature experiences at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom.

Join the talented crew of Outdoor Classroom volunteer teachers and help make these rich experiences happen. Whidbey Watershed Stewards staff provide the lesson plans, training, and all the tools you need to be successful! No experience is necessary. 

Two opportunities for Fall 2018 Volunteer Teacher Training are on:

  • Monday, September 10th – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, September 13th – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Lunch and good conversation provided! 

At the training we will do the activities together, get a chance to explore the facility and have the chance to catch up and get to know each other. The training will start at  9:00 am  and wrap up by 2:00 pm with lunch provided. You will be given a packet of lessons to take with you. 
We will also dedicate the first few days of the season to observation days giving you the chance to see the lessons taught. Lori is working out the schedule with visiting classes and will get those dates to you as soon as they are set.

The classroom is located at 7015 Maxwelton Rd, Clinton. 


The fall activities will focus on water and the ecosystem. There is a hands on water on earth lab down by the stream, an awareness sketch and story in the forest, a salmon survival game in the back and an ecosystem art activity in the building. 

As a volunteer you run a particular station and see different groups of students at your station. Students come in classes so one day you might work with first grades and another day 5th grades. You choose the lesson you would like to lead, the age group and the dates that work for you. It is helpful to volunteer for one teaching day per week, or more if available. 

The fall season will run from September 20th -November 9th, Monday-Friday from 9:30 am -1:15 pm. 

To sign up or for more information, contact Education Director Lori O’Brien at

Summer 2018 Stewardship Work Parties

Looking for a volunteer opportunity that will make a positive impact on your local watershed? Consider joining us for one of these upcoming work parties. 

You bring gloves, boots, a water-bottle, and dress for the weather – We’ll bring tools and show you what to do! 

Upcoming Stewardship Work Parties

Thursday, July 12th – Freeland Wetland Preserve
  • Thursday, 7/12 from 1pm – 3pm (note the later start time!)
  • Freeland Wetland PreserveIn Freeland on Newman Rd, 100 yards from Main Street. Next to Petosa Roasta BBQ. You will see the sign!
  • We’ll target invasive holly, tansy, and blackberries for removal, trail trimming and tree planting, and we’re also hoping to install new gutters on the barn!
  • Contact Amy to RSVP

Monday, July 16th – Miller Property

  • Monday, 7/16 from 1pm – 3pm (note the later start time!)
  • Miller Property: Park at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom and plan to walk 1/4 mile to the site. The Outdoor Classroom is at 7015 Maxwelton Road, Clinton. We will meet and walk as a group, so please let us know in advance if you plan to arrive after 10am. 
  • Our goal is to restore the vegetation to its most biologically stable state. We’ll remove blackberry and any other invasive plants we identify! 
  • Contact Amy to RSVP

Saturday, August 11th – Miller Property

  • Saturday, 8/11 from 10am – noon
  • Miller Property: Park at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom and plan to walk 1/4 mile to the site. The Outdoor Classroom is at 7015 Maxwelton Road, Clinton. We will meet and walk as a group, so please let us know in advance if you plan to arrive after 10am. 
  • Our goal is to restore the vegetation to its most biologically stable state. We’ll remove blackberry and any other invasive plants we identify! 
  • Contact Amy to RSVP

Friday, September 7th – Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom

  • Friday, 9/7 from 10am – noon
  • Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom: 7015 Maxwelton Road, Clinton.  
  • Help us prepare the trails and classroom for Fall season’s Outdoor Classroom lessons! We’ll be trimming the trails, planting trees, and sprucing up the Classroom!
  • Contact Amy to RSVP

Please email with questions, or to RSVP! 

Salmon Enchanted Evening This July!

Salmon Enchanted Evening

Each summer, we invite WWS donors to our biggest fundraiser of the year called Salmon Enchanted Evening. This is a private event, by invitation only. Inquire via email or add your name to our e-newsletter mailing list for an invitation to this year’s event!

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – Many thanks to our attendees and donors, whose contributions fund our education programs!

2018 Spring Matching Challenge

It’s time for a Spring Matching Challenge! 

Our important programs, including environmental education at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom, Langley Marina, and South Whidbey Schools, are funded exclusively through community support and local grants. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to amplify your donation from now until June 1st [details below!] and be sure to spread the word!

With the arrival of spring comes a bundle of activities for the Whidbey Watershed Stewards staff, board, and volunteers. We are proud to have accomplished so much in 2018 already, including the following goals:

  • Three stewardship work parties to restore & refresh Freeland Wetland Preserve, Robinson Beach, and the Outdoor Classroom trails
  • Four interactive training days with volunteer teachers at the Outdoor Classroom preparing for our Spring classes beginning April 30th, and for the Marine Science program, which has been running regularly throughout the winter and spring
  • Eight marine science field days at Langley Marina for South Whidbey’s sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to study plankton and marine invertebrates
  • 220 healthy salmon fry released into Maxwelton Creek by South Whidbey’s fifth graders as part of the Salmon in the Classroom Program
  • A handful of Earth Day activities at Bayview’s Earth Day event, including a public presentation by Executive Director Rick Baker, plus kids’ educational activities
Help make sure our work and programming continues by participating in this year’s Spring Matching Challenge! 
Donate Now to Double Your Dollars!

An anonymous donor has offered to match all donations, dollar for dollar, received before June 1, 2018, up to $5,000! There couldn’t be a better time to support environmental education, research, and restoration. 

Remember that the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG giving campaign is Wednesday, May 9, 2018. If you donate to Whidbey Watershed Stewards through GiveBIG, that donation will also be matched by our anonymous donor! 

Your employer may also match your gifts to Whidbey Watershed Stewards. Many companies and organizations match their employees’ giving. Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and Google are among the many companies in our region that generously support local non-profits through their matching gift programs. In most cases, a match from your company will double the amount of your gift. 

Make the most of your employer’s matching, GiveBIG, and our anonymous donor’s matching challenge before June 1, 2018 for the biggest impact! 

Outdoor Classroom Turns 20!

In October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom! 

Twenty years ago, educators, parents, and local experts collaborated to realize the vision of the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom. What began as an idea to raise salmon in a classroom has grown to provide regular opportunities for hands on science and environmental education to K-8 students from Whidbey Island and beyond! The Classroom itself was dedicated in the Fall of 1997, and has become the vehicle to help educate more than 25,000 students since. 

Event photos by photographer and volunteer, Gordon Marvin:

For more information, please see this recent article from the South Whidbey Record. And also this article from the South Whidbey Record

July 15, 2017 – Work Party at Freeland Wetland Preserve!

Whidbey Watershed Stewards has big plans to spruce up the Freeland Wetland Preserve, and we need your help!

We had a very successful work party on Saturday, July 15, 2017. Tasks for varying abilities included:

  • Defining the trail through the cedars
  • Building log benches
  • Building small bridges over two drainages
  • Cutting back vine blackberry and nettles 
  • Removing moss from the roof of the barn
  • Tidying the barn patios
  • Re-attaching and hanging new gutters for rain water collection
  • Removing invasive Tansy

Here are some great photos of our work that day: 

2018 Salmon in the Classroom

This year’s Salmon in the Classroom season began in January 2018 when Whidbey Watershed Stewards identified a group of 5th Grade Salmon Ambassadors to join us on a field trip to the Wallace River Hatchery to pick up 250 salmon eggs!

We divided the eggs between two aquatic tanks, one in the office at South Whidbey Middle School (Grades 5-8), and the other in the hallway at South Whidbey Elementary School (Grades K-4)! The 5th grade Salmon Ambassadors have been taught how to monitor and care for the juvenile salmon, tracking water temperature and other indicators of salmon development.

Here is a video of salmon eggs that have developed into alevin:

Here is a video of those same juvenile salmon, who have developed into fry: 

Coming soon!

Salmon Release 2017

5th Grade Salmon Ambassadors. Photo by Laura Canby

Students from the 2017 fifth-grade class students released salmon fry into Maxwelton Creek on in April 24 as part of the Salmon in the Classroom project. The 2017 sponsor was Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club.

Click to view a fun video of the salmon fry release on the South Whidbey Schools Foundation page!