The WRWC brings environmental education to all levels of students in the watershed. Our programs immerse students in high quality, hands-on, STEAM activities in order to harness a passion for their natural resources and empower them to take action in their own communities. We also focus on the “Dos and Don’ts of the Woonasquatucket” in order to keep watershed communities safe. We now reach over 2,000 youth in grades K-12 and aim to engage with all students of the watershed.

Contact our Environmental Education Director for more information

Elementary Education

Elementary School Programs

Woonasquatucket Birds of a Feather: Mindfulness Together Focusing on 3rd grade, this program teaches students about the wonderful world of Woonasquatucket birds while practicing observation and mindfulness skills. In each lesson, students learn a mindfulness technique and then take flight into learning about the science of birds. We end this program with a field trip to a site along the Woonasquatucket River to put our learned skills to the test! Lessons include:

  • Understanding beak adaptations through a fun matching activity
  • Dressing up in props to learn about birds’ field marks
  • Exploring migration through a Great Blue Heron migration game

Fish in the Classroom-  Cultivates environmental stewardship through hands-on fish education. Geared towards 4th grade, this program allows students to take a deep dive into the life of a brook trout, a fish that needs our help! Partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), students explore the various aspects of a watershed and the Woonasquatucket river throughout the school year. They also receive the opportunity to raise brook trout in their school and release them into the Woonasquatucket River in a fun-filled field trip. Lessons include:  

  • Experimenting with effects of pollution on our storm water and watershed model 
  • Building their own dream streams 
  • Learning the stages of a fish life cycle 
  • Understanding brook trout anatomy through our large stuffed trout, Brookie! 

Fun with the Woonasquatucket  Fish in the Classroom has been so successful that we’ve created an afterschool version called Fun with the Woonasquatucket! This six-week program gives students grades K-5 the opportunity to learn more about the The Woonasquatucket River and what lives in it. We bring the river to them through interactive games, fish observations, and outdoor play.

Teacher, William D’Abate Elementary School – “Programs like Fish in the Classroom encourage kids to enjoy outside, to value the environment, and most importantly to want to protect the environment.” 

Student, Spaziano Elementary School – “My class is going to raise and release fish into the river. I’m so excited!” 

Middle School Education

Middle School

River Adventurers After School – This catalyst program continues to get middle school youth excited about exploring the environment. Each session, our youth visit the Woonasquatucket parks and Greenway as a part of this exciting after-school program where they: 

  • Learn to identify wildlife 
  • Study the history of the river, how it became polluted, and how it’s getting cleaned 
  • Become citizen scientists and test the water quality 
  • Complete service projects with WRWC River Rangers 
  • Enjoy field trips, such as a kayak adventure at Georgiaville Pond and biking lessons at our Red Shed Bike Shop 

The ongoing outdoor activities that make up the River Adventures curriculum teach students to become stewards of their local environment, and to respect and care for nature.  

River Adventurers In-SchoolThis version of our after-school program brings the river to the students! Directed towards 7th grade, WRWC staff engages students in activities that focus on the Woonasquatucket River watershed, the creatures in and around the river and how to become environmental stewards. We end our curriculum with a field trip to the Woonasquatucket River to connect in class learning to the real world of the outdoors! Lessons include:

  • Understanding how pollution enters our river through a Watershed Model
  • Learning about fish anatomy using a giant plush brook trout
  • Exploring the world of bird adaptations with hands-on lessons
  • Delving into urban heat island effect and what we can do to help


River Adventurers Student – “I’ll be recruiting my friends for the next session!

Teacher, St. Augustine School – “Whenever I say WRWC is coming, the students get so excited. The lessons the WRWC staff bring are hands on and allow the students to engage in something real rather than just in a textbook. The students this year have been thriving in River Adventurers.” 

The Met School: Environmental Leaders

WRWC and the MET have a unique partnership through the Environmental Leaders program. This year-long, intensive, high school program teaches students about the environmental issues within our community. Through a “Learn One–Research One–Teach One” model, students receive the opportunity to use the scientific method to explore the Woonasquatucket River watershed and create a passion project based on their professional, personal and environmental interests. These projects truly bring out the Environmental Leaders within our students. They not only advance and direct their learning to delve deeper into subjects that interest them but also bring awareness to the community about the environmental issues we face daily. Check out some of the amazing projects below!

In the “Learn One” semester, topics include:

  • Fish dissection
  • Fish monitoring
  • Understanding the importance of native species
  • Conducting water quality testing and water filtration investigations

These projects help Met School Students advance and direct their learning and encourage them to delve deeper into subjects that interest them. When our new leaders teach what they’ve learned to the community, they truly become environmental leaders.

Environmental Leaders Student – “Thank you for teaching us about our environment and how to advocate for our community. I feel more passionate about keeping my community clean!” 

MET Advisor – “I was talking with other advisors that are a part of the Environmental Leaders program. They talked about their deep appreciation that WRWC has provided kids with some outdoor activity, environmental awareness, and relevant project work in a year where it is difficult to come by for some students. Other advisors have expressed the same enthusiasm about the benefits of this program.” 

Check out our Environmental Leaders’ projects below!
Maha & Hafsat: Fake Fish Dissection with Brookie the Trout


Franklin, Ilan, & Derek: Solving Food Deserts through EV Food Truck


Sheila, Bresly, & Greisy: How to Create All-Natural Hair Shampoo


Jey & Stephen: How to Make a Cultural Cuisine Using Local, Healthy Foods



Shanyra, Janai & Jazenia: The Importance of Plants


Lamisa & Vee: The Importance of Picking Up Litter (PowerPoint Presentation)



Jasmary: How to Create an All-Natural Pesticide


Tyrelle and Jose: The Importance of Green Spaces with a Dream Park


A Brief History

The WRWC became an educational resource during the 1990s, in an effort to teach local youth how to safely interact with the Woonasquatucket River. Not knowing the river held dangerous toxins such as dioxin, neighborhood kids would swim and fish in the river to beat the heat. The WRWC started reaching out to teach kids and their families river safety, first through volunteer Junior River Rangers and later through WRWC staff. The WRWC’s efforts grew, and in 2009, we began our middle school programming in partnership with Providence After School Alliance (PASA). Later, in 2011, we began our elementary level program, “Fish in the Classroom” at Paul Cuffee Lower Elementary. In 2015, the WRWC formally created an education program, expanding it to include “Environmental Leaders,” “Community Field Days” in 2016, “Fun with Fish” in 2017, and “Birds of a Feather” in 2022. What started as a way to keep kids safe has grown to become a way to engage them in their environment. 

We are so grateful to have partnered with the schools and organizations below. We hope to expand our efforts further throughout the watershed! 


Elementary Schools 

  • Paul Cuffee Lower 
  • William D’Abate 
  • George J. West  
  • Frank D. Spaziano 
  • Greystone 
  • Whelan 
  • McGuire 
  • Pleasant View (Smithfield) 
  • Old County Road 
  • Raymond C. LaPerche 
  • Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School 

 Middle Schools 

  • St. Augustine 
  • Delsesto through PASA 
  • Nicholas A. Ferri 
  • Wheeler 

High Schools 

  • The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center 
  • Wheeler 
  • LaSalle 
  • Smithfield 


  • Providence After School Alliance (PASA) 


Come see what WRWC Education is all about!