New Walkable Watershed Floor Map Debuts in Classrooms

Large, walkable floor maps of the entire Columbia River watershed will soon appear in classrooms throughout the state.  The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and Portland State University’s Center for Geography Education in Oregon are debuting the walkable watershed floor map and classroom lessons with primary-school students. Supplementing traditional tabled-sized watershed models, massive walkable floor maps allow students to explore the complex pathways of water and develop solutions to pollution.

The walkable watershed flood map and environmental education lesson plans were produced through a partnership between Portland State University’s Center for Geography Education (C-GEO) and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. “Students move over the map and see how water flows throughout our vast landscape and learn how overall watershed health depends on each individual person’s actions in the basin while also emphasizing how people can work together to keep water cool, clean, and clear,” said Audra Brown, Environmental Educator and Curriculum Developer at the Estuary Partnership. “After two years challenging years of screens and limited field trips, we are excited to return to ‘hands-on, feet-on’ environmental education.”

“The walkable watershed flood map conveys the grandness of the Columbia River Drainage Basin which includes seven states,  two countries and is over a quarter million square miles,” said Nancee Hunter Director of C-GEO. “We look forward to seeing this powerful lesson plan and map teaching watershed health in classrooms throughout our network.”

About PSU’s Center for Geography Education in Oregon and C-Geo Giant Floor Map loan program
Portland State’s Center for Geography Education in Oregon offers Oregon K-12 teachers myriad instructional resources as well as opportunities for professional development that enables them to integrate geography across their curriculum. Teachers can check out their own walkable watershed floor map, along with other giant maps (including Oregon, U.S. Relief and World) from PSU’s Center for Geography Education in Oregon (C-GEO). More information can be found online.