The Jordan River Commission, through a partnership with Salt Lake County’s Watershed Restoration and Planning Program and the Center for Documentary Expression and Art (CDEA), has received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Program.
The project utilizes the Center for Documentary Expression and Art’s Jordan River exhibit and catalog, ReAwakened Beauty: the Past, Present, and Future of the Jordan River, to engage intermediate and high school students through an eight week in-school residency program featuring: Dr. Ty Harrison, Ecologist; Leslie Kelen, writer/ documentary artist; and Kent Miles, documentary photographer. Guest speakers and consultants may include Stephen Trimble, Utah photographer and naturalist; Karri Smith, restoration ecologist and photographer; as well as many others.
During the school residencies, students will study local issues related to the river, environmental literature, photography, writing, service learning, restoration efforts, and public forums that engage, educate, and empower students to co-create projects and educational materials to improve water quality, the viability of the watershed, and their community.
Additional community outreach includes a series of workshops soliciting the thoughts, ideas, and participation of Salt Lake City residents.
Using smart phone technology, the Jordan River commission will use the content developed by the student-community partnership to bring educational information to the fingertips of thousands of Salt Lake County residents. Digital codes at various locations or stops along the Jordan River Parkway will link to a mobile website containing educational information and an explanation of the community’s role in protecting the watershed. The mobile website will also contain a library of educational topics and will allow residents to self-report water quality or public safety concerns.