Northwest Watershed Institute

Comprehensive Watershed Assessment, Protection & Restoration

Education & Outreach

NWI conducts educational programs at the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve and in the larger Tarboo Watershed. From the restored streams, forests and wetlands of the Tarboo valley to the diversity of marine habitats of Dabob Bay, the area offers a unique opportunity to learn about Puget Sound environments.

Youth Environmental Stewards (YES!) Program

The Youth Environmental Stewards (YES!) Program is NWI’s hands-on environmental education program. People learn by getting involved, so all of our volunteers and students participate directly in projects that help restore natural places. The YES! Program includes YES! Leaders - an accredited High School Watershed Science and Stewardship Class, the annual Plant-A–Thon, and the AFS/NWI Global Youth Service Day (see below).

YES! Leaders Program

NWI coordinates an accredited high school class in which students from three schools work side-by-side with natural resource professionals from seven organizations. Over the course, students experience watershed science from headwaters to bay and dedicate 30 hours each to environmental projects in East Jefferson County. Some students intern with experts to pursue in-depth biological projects. Partners include: Jefferson Land Trust, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, United Good Neighbors, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and Jefferson County Public Health Department.


NWI coordinates the annual Plant-A-Thon, the largest environmental service project in Jefferson County. Each year, hundreds of students and parents from local schools plant thousands of native trees to protect recently restored riparian salmon habitat. As part of the event, schools raise money by selling honorary tree cards for each tree planted. High school students train and serve as crew leaders. NWI obtains grants for materials and guidance and schools provide volunteer oversight and tree planting labor. All proceeds from Tree Cards go directly to local schools. NWI also provides in-class educational visits to schools that participate in the Plant-A-Thon, as well as follow-up monitoring sessions on the planting sites with a smaller group of the participating students.

NWI/AFS Global Youth Service Day

With our partner AFS (originally "American Field Service"), NWI unites a team of local students with international students who are on a year-long foreign exchange program in Puget Sound, Washington, for a weekend of environmental service-learning and an overnight international environmental forum.

Guided Tours

With prior permission, NWI welcomes individuals, schools, and civic groups interested in salmon and wildlife restoration, botany and tree-planting. Staff time permitting, tours of the Tarboo Watershed and Tarboo Wildlife Preserve are available upon request. To arrange for a visit please Contact Us.