Crocker Riverside 5th Graders, 1998-99

Mrs. Womack’s next class of fifth-graders picked up in 1998 where the previous class had left off. They studied the vernal pools and they too fell in love with the critters and flowers that call them home.

With great alarm they learned that some trucks had been driven into Mather Regional Park last spring, making permanent ruts in vernal pools. The class raised funds to post two metal signs to discourage off-road vehicles and warn of fines for trespassing. They also shared their knowledge by hosting Vernal Pool Day in their classroom and writing letters to the Board of Supervisors.

For their efforts, they were awarded with the Grand Prize in the Disney Environmentality Challenge and were the guests of honor at Disney’s Earth Day 1999. The Little Mermaid even sang a song about clean water and life in vernal pools!

When the students assembled with the heads of state environment and education agencies in Tom Sawyer’s Castle, their passion for vernal pool conservation left no doubt that vernal pools are very important to many species and at least one class of children. How many people were educated that day because those students dared to care?