School Programs For Teachers

Graphic showing school programs

Seattle Public Utilities Cedar River Watershed Education Center offers free 4th and 5th grade naturalist-led watershed field trips to public and private schools in the spring and fall. Our programs meet the Washington State K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards in relation to water cycling, water conservation and watershed education.

We offer two different school field programs: Seeing the Source and Land and Water. Both programs are 3.25 hours and have a focus on water and watersheds. Seeing the Source travels into the Cedar River Watershed while the Land & and Water program is at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.

Our programs are developed for fourth and fifth grade students. We generally recommend our Seeing the Source program for fourth graders and Land and Water for fifth graders, however both programs are suitable for both grades. Our Watershed Exhibit Experience visits are available to all grade levels.


Program Options & Registration

Our 4th and 5th grade fieldtrip options consist of the Seeing the Source program, where seeing and discovering our mountain fed drinking water supply is the primary learning objective, and the Education Center-based Land and Water program, which explores hands-on connections between land, water and people.

Registration open to all schools Wednesday, May 15, 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year. For more information, contact us at or (206) 733-9421.

Registration schedule for the 2020-2021 school year

  • Online registration: May 15 - August 1, 2020
  • Lottery call-in period: Late August 2020
  • Fall session: September 15 - November 13, 2020
  • Spring session: March 9 - June 11, 2021

Program registration process

Each school may register a maximum of four 4th or 5th grade classes for the entire 2020-2021 school year. If you are interested in signing up multiple classes from the same school, we require a designated coordinating teacher to represent your entire school. Each school's coordinating teacher will act as the contact person when registering programs and communicating details. An alternate coordinating teacher is also required. Each school's coordinating teacher must fill out an online fieldtrip application and submit their program requests between May 15 and August 1, 2020. By August 20, all coordinating teachers will receive an email packet providing registration details, a lottery order number, and the exact time and date you will need to call-in to reserve your program dates.

Your assigned call-in date and time will be on either August 25 or 26 for non-Seattle schools and August 26 or 27 for Seattle Public Schools. Call-in times will be in 10-minute time slots. On your call-in day, you will have access to real-time online calendar of available program dates from which see and choose from.

Please take the time to coordinate with your team and contact us at or call us at (206) 733-9421 if you have questions prior to submitting your registration.


More Information

A third option for all grade levels is called the "Watershed Exhibit Experience" group visit. This flexible option explores water's wonders through hands-on indoor exhibits and teacher-led self-discover of the Education Center's outdoor environment and area trails. Ihe Center's indoor interactive exhibit hall and is not usually staff supported. For more information about this option contact us at or (206) 733-9421. Reservations for Watershed Exhibit Experience group visits are first-come, first-called and are taken year-round. Space is limited, so register online in advance of your proposed dates.

Programs for older students

The Education Center's Watershed Exhibit Experience is a great alternative for groups of all grade levels. For eighth grade and high school classes, our adult-oriented group Watershed tour is also an option. To submit a request to visit our exhibits or for a group Watershed tour go to our Programs & Tours section and select "Group Visits."

Field trips for home-schooled students

Our programs are available for these students as long as the group meets our minimum and maximum size and consists of all 4th & 5th grade level students. Homeschools apply using the same lottery application process as all other schools. For mixed grade levels and smaller groups we offer our Watershed Exhibit Experience self-led exhibits visit. To submit a request go to our Programs & Tours section and select "Group Visits."