Prestwood Elementary students were the first to experience the brand new Sonoma Wildlife and Natural History Center housed in Sonoma Valley High School science teacher Elisha Coon’s classroom. Focusing on the concept, “For the students, by the students,” SVHS students are trained by Coon, as “Science Educators.” These students then serve as “ecology docents” for elementary and middle school field trips to the center.

A $5,000 grant from the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation allowed Coon to purchase educational live and taxidermied animals, and minerals and fossils. Prestwood students learned about specimens’ natural habitat, biodiversity, ecosystems, animal adaptations, endangered species, and conservation ecology. Students got up close and personal with four species of snakes, five kinds of geckos, and two chinchillas.

The mission of the center is “to train and support Sonoma Valley High School students in career and leadership skills as they educate and inspire the youth of the SVUSD to become environmental ambassadors for sustainable use and management of the wildlife, water, and atmosphere of our planet.”

For more information or to schedule a field trip, contact ecoon@sonomaschools.org.