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Online Curriculum-based Programs

Once Upon a Watershed has created online video resources to provide greater access for those passionate about understanding and protecting our watersheds. We advocate for watershed education restoration and stewardship projects.


Please browse through our videos and feel encouraged to share, integrate into your curriculum or view at home. 

OUW Kindergarten Program


For children in local Kindergarten classes, OUW introduces our youngest residents to the concept of a watershed and the importance of their ecological address. We make their environment relatable through Dianne Bennett’s book “Once Upon a Watershed”, which illustrates native plants and animals of the Ventura River Watershed.

OUW 4th Grade Program

4th Grade

The program for 4th grade students is “The Story of Our Oaks", which emphasizes the definition of a watershed, the role of oaks as a keystone species and the importance of native plants and animals in the Ventura River ecosystem.

OUW 5th Grade Program

5th Grade

Our 5th grade program is “The Story of Our Estuary”. This introduction covers what an estuary is, the finite resource of water, and sensitive estuarine species. This program highlights the pernicious nature of plastic pollution in our watersheds and oceans and how urban runoff affects our coastal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel.

OUW 6th Grade Program

6th Grade

OUW’s program for 6th grade students is “The Story of Our River”, which focuses on the critically endangered indicator species, Southern Steelhead Trout, and the effects of the Matilija dam on beach erosion and spawning access.

Students become familiar with the Steelhead’s unique migration patterns, are introduced to the Matilija dam removal project, and learn about sediment transportation from mountains to beaches. This reinforces the connection that healthy rivers create healthy beaches.

Additional Online Video Resources

Native Plants

An Introduction to the Ojai Oak Community

An introduction to Oak Community in the Ojai Valley. Come tour the oak woodlands with us, by following a local teacher, Sheri Usher, as she explores the Oaks around Ojai. 

How to Grow California Native Plants from Seed

Ojai students demonstrate how to collect native plant seeds and how to start seedling trays at Matilija Middle School. Produced for the Green Valley Project An initiative led by The C.R.E.W. in partnership with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, Once Upon a Watershed, Pax Environmental and Watershed Progressive. Funding provided by the Cotyledon Fund.

How to Grow Oak Trees from Seeds

Once Upon a Watershed, a program of the CREW, demonstrates how to germinate and grow Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia). This is first part of an oak reforestation effort in Ventura County. Our community's youth will steward this project by planting and caring for these oak trees in various preserve in Ventura County. Please visit Once Upon a Watershed's website for more information about this project and additional resources for students, teachers, and parents.

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