Community Action Training School (CATS)

Are you ready to make real change in your watershed?  Do you feel that a bit more knowledge on key issues would allow you to better focus your passions on salmon, orca, and ecosystem protection and restoration?

The Community Action Training School might be just for you!  This course seeks to empower community members to be more effective at being the change they want to see in the world.  This FREE program provides 8 weeks of classes on important scientific issues — including watershed health, clean water, native plants, salmon restoration and more — then will support attendees to design and implement stewardship action projects in their own communities.

Classes begin July 10th.  Applications for this free series are due June 14th.

To apply, please visit the CATS Application Form.

CATS Schedule

All classroom sessions run from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. All classroom sessions are located at 21 Acres Center in Woodinville.

July 10 - Intro: Being a Changemaker in Your Watershed

July 17 - Tribal Perspectives & Physical Habitat

July 20 - Field Experience - Estuarine & Freshwater Habitats of Snohomish County

July 24 - Wildlife and the Food Chain – Orcas & Salmon & Forage Fish, Oh My!

July 31 - Water Quality, Stormwater Pollution, and Climate Resilience

August 7 - Current Conditions of Our Watersheds

August 14 - Guiding Regulations & Public Engagement

August 17 - Field Experience - Freshwater Habitats of King County

August 21 - Community Organizations & Opportunities

August 28 - Stewardship Action Collaboration Session

Stewardship Action Project

CATS students will gain the information necessary to create meaningful change as a community leader in your watershed. Students will receive the mentoring necessary to create and implement their projects, which in turn will engage other community members in watershed stewardship. For example, projects may include elements of community education and engagement, habitat restoration, water quality monitoring projects, advocacy efforts, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up?

We’d love you to fill out a brief application (located here) by June 14th.  The program is free, but we want to ensure that we get a group of people from around the watershed, and who are all committed to a meaningful volunteer project. After you fill out the application, we’ll get back to you in about a week to confirm that we have room in the class.  

Where will the classes take place?

We are thrilled to be working with 21 Acres, a sustainable living center located in Woodinville, to host the joint and WRIA 8 sessions.  It is sure to be an inspiring backdrop to our sessions.

Who is going to teach the course?

We’re lining up experts in their fields to speak to you.  You’ll hear from local scientists, activists, lawyers and people who have worked in the restoration field for decades.  We’ll have community members like you who have been in the trenches, fighting to restore the fish in their community backyard.  And we’ll have scientists who are experts at explaining how rain flowing off the road adds up to a water quality crisis affecting orcas.  And most of all, we’ll work to pull out those tangible actions, so that you can know the actions that you and your neighbors can take to make things better.

What is this stewardship action project about?

Sometimes giving back takes support. We want you to find a project that will make an impact, and then we want to help you make it a reality. Past projects have included: setting up a Student Salmon Stewards programs at an Edmonds high school, developing a “virtual field trip” of a puget sound dive trip with a live stream to a local classroom, conducting a forage fish survey of a local beach, and revegetating several local parks and public spaces.

The projects can be done as individuals, as groups with other participants, and in partnership with local organizations that we’ll bring in to the course.  Our staff will be available to help you in various ways, whether that is by helping you make connections with people in the field you are interested in, assisting with the design of the project, coming up with ideas for how to fund a project, or connecting you with local organizations already in need of support.  Your “payment” of volunteer time will help fund the costs of putting on the course.

How is it possible that this is a free course?  

Thanks to the generous funding from WRIAs 7 & 8 and the King County Flood Control District, we are able to offer CATS as a free course. All we ask in return is that you volunteer 50 hours towards your Stewardship Action Project and remain active in making your communities a better place — for people, for wildlife, and for salmon.

Who can I call for more information?

Still have questions?  Great! Give us a call or shoot us an email.

If you live in WRIA 7 – Snohomish River Watershed (see map), you can contact:

Kelly at kellyf[at]soundsalmonsolutions[dot]org and [425][252][6686]

If you live in WRIA 8 – Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish, you can contact:

Stephanie at stephanie[at]midsoundfisheries[dot]org and [206][335][7621] (or visit their CATS page)