Every other year the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School (SELS) takes its second and third grade students on a tour of historic, downtown Truckee. This tour exposes the students to sites on Commercial Row, Jibboom Street and the surrounding areas, which contain rich historical resources. The purpose of this tour is to engage our youth with valuable assets that exist close to home. There is much to learn about Truckee’s vibrant past and it is all accessible by foot and in close proximity.
This fall, Mountain Area Preservation (MAP) will collaborate with SELS and include the Trout Creek Pocket Park (TCPP) on the downtown tour. In 2016, TCPP was completed at the intersection of Jibboom and Bridge Streets in historic, downtown Truckee. Prior to completion, the site was a neglected, environmental disaster. Compacted dirt, crumbling asphalt and garbage covered much of the area. Dirty snow, road debris and toxic runoff was deposited along Trout Creek, a tributary of the Truckee River and drinking water source for Truckee, Tahoe and Reno. MAP turned the park into a Sustainable Site featuring native, drought tolerant landscaping, permeable pavers, a storm water drainage facility and a solar light fixture. The park provides garbage and recycling collection, an interpretive kiosk with panels done by a local artist featuring the flora and fauna of the area as well as a watershed overview of the creek path from its headwaters in Tahoe Donner to its connection with the Truckee River. Truckee's Native American history is highlighted in an art panel depicting how the Washoe Tribe utilized local pinon pine nuts and goji berries for their diet. An authentic Washoe grinding stone has been relocated to the park and commemorated with a plaque honoring its cultural value. A hand forged Art Bike Rack designed and built by two local female artists serves dual purposes as both a place to park your bike and a work of art to admire. Topics such as infill, environmental restoration, native landscaping, flora, fauna, watershed ecology, sustainable design and stewardship will be covered in this experiential place-based education program. At the end of the tour, each student will receive a two-sided, color, bilingual activity sheet to take home with environmental education themes and games to reinforce the many learning targets. In addition to the activity sheet, the students will create an informational rack card pointing out the various attributes of the park. This card will be designed in the classroom by the students and will be distributed to every student at SELS as well as placed at the Truckee Chamber of Commerce/Visitors’ Center at the Train Depot.
This grant request covers the cost to print the activity sheets and rack cards at Copy Center.