An Education Program of the National Park Service

Program History

The River Mile is managed and presented by the National Park Service, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. The developer, coordinator and manager of the program is the park’s Education Specialist. The program began in 2008 as the park’s main education program for schools located around the lake. It quickly became apparent that the park would never have the ability to have a park ranger personally serve every single student in every grade every year. So, training teachers became the program’s main focus and thus the expansion idea began. By expanding the program to a network of educators throughout the Columbia River Watershed we increase the expertise base and the potential for training opportunities and increased the number of people working together to ensure program success.

The River Mile was established during the 2007-08 school year, in-the-field programs were conducted during spring 2008 with seven schools and 289 3rd-12th grade students around Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. During the 2010-11 school year the program expanded to include schools using Columbia River tributaries located just outside the park. During the 2012-13 school year more than 1300 students, 54 teachers, 21 school districts and 100 resource partners actively participated in the program

During the 2012 summer a test expansion workshop was presented. This test expansion workshop consisted of 21 teachers from 18 school districts throughout the Columbia River Watershed in Washington and Oregon. These teachers tested model program materials and network sharing venues. The workshop also included a few informal educators interested in The River Mile as well as educators interested in the training but not able to participate in the test expansion. By March 1, 2013, 95 teachers and more than 4600 students from 21 school districts participated in The River Mile in some manner.