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Sustainability Camp Will Provide Portland Youth Valuable Lessons in Watershed Stewardship

August 10, 2012


Eighteen Portland Public School students will participate in theYouth Leaders for Sustainability (YLS) Camp, held August 13 to 17, 2012, thanks to scholarships provided by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. The camp is organized by Portland State University's College of Urban and Public Affairs and Oregon State University 4H Extension Service and is designed to teach middle school youth sustainability concepts through experiential learning.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to support these bright, articulate kids, who we believe will be tomorrow's leaders in sustainability," said Mark Long, Schwabe's managing partner. "PSU and OSU have collaborated to make this camp a great learning experience for these youth who come from very diverse backgrounds."

The students were nominated by school staff, teachers, and adult mentors for being leaders in their communities and for their interest in the environment and in creating a better world. The theme of this year's camp -- A Mountain to Sea Adventure -- examines Portland's watershed. Through field trips and hands-on activities, campers will explore local and regional watersheds, coastal estuaries, and learn about innovative solutions to water challenges. For some campers, this represents the first time they will have had the opportunity to explore natural and built environments outside of Portland. These activities include:

  • field trips to Mt. Tabor and Bull Run reservoirs, both sources of Portland's drinking water; and
  • an overnight field trip to the Oregon coast to conduct field research and tour a coastal estuary.

The week-long camp culminates in a closing ceremony at which students present their field research and Action Plans for Sustainability. The objective of all of the plans is to create actionable steps toward a more sustainable world at their schools and in their homes and communities. The ceremony also offers campers the opportunity to exhibit their leadership and presentation skills in an actual business environment.

Schwabe has been a sponsor of the camp since its inception in 2009, co-underwriting the cost of the camp for all of the students. The law firm's involvement in the camp is led by Janna Davydova and Greg Fullem, both members of the firm's Climate Change practice group. Additional in-kind donations have been provided by Dave's Killer Bread, Bob's Red Mill and New Seasons Market.