Migratory bird habitats connect Oregon and Mexico in ‘Classrooms Across Borders’

The Rio Laja is in Guanajuato, Mexico

The Willamette River near Corvallis, Oregon

Rio Laja near Guanajuato, Mexico

This educational project is part of the larger Meyer Memorial Trust Willamette River-Rio Laja Twinning Project, pairing or ‘twinning’ the Willamette River watershed with the Rio Laja watershed basin, located roughly 300 kilometers north east of Mexico City. These watersheds share similar critical habitats such as wetlands, oak woodlands, and floodplain forests that support populations of birds migrating between the two countries. The project is not only an environmental exchange, but a cultural and community exchange in which ecological concerns overcome language barriers. The larger Twinning project was initiated from a 2012 Thiess International Riverprize award to the Meyer Memorial Trust. Other partners in this Initiative include Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, the Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Instituto Tecnolȯgico Superior de Irapuato (ITESI), and Cascade Pacific Resource Conservation & Development. To learn more about the Willamette-Laja Twinning Project, click here.

This project is funded by the Gray Family Foundation, Trust Management Services, and Meyer Memorial Trust’s Environmental Leadership for Youth program. Far fewer grant funds are available in Mexico, so the Oregon-based partners are exploring creative ways to support the engagement of partners in Mexico. Recently, a Plant-a-Tree Day had volunteers planting trees at Bald Hill Farm near Corvallis for a $1000 cash match, donated from One Tree Planted, to groups working with students in Mexico.

IAE is seeking donations to enable our partners in Mexico to work with their local students as part of this exchange. We will be working with students at Primaria Miguel Hidalgo, Santa Rosa de Lima, in Guanajuato, Mexico, but we need help to reach more students and provide lesson materials. Please lend your support with a contribution by clicking here. All of the Willamette-Laja Twinning Project partners sincerely appreciate your support!

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Field Day at Bald Hill Farm

A student's drawing of a bald eagle with a salmon

Insect sweep identification