Riparian Rx


Riparian Rx (prescription) connects the watershed with its terrestrial residents. In this station, students study and evaluate the riparian ecosystem’s flora, fauna, soil and the geomorphology that influences the watershed.

NGSS: HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6, HS-LS4-5, HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1

WA SCIENCE Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs): 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.2

Teachers-Riparian Rx

Using a densitometer to determine percent canopy cover


Students will be able to:

  • List the functions and adaptations of riparian plants
  • Discuss the benefits of a riparian area to its watershed
  • Record flora and fauna data on a survey form
  • Describe the cultural uses of certain plants
  • List ways the geomorphology of the area formed the watershed
  • Illustrate stream and valley types


  • Adaptation
  • Flora-fauna-land watershed interrelationships
  • Function of riparian areas
  • Stream bank restoration
  • Cultural uses of plants

Classroom Materials

Classroom Pre-work Activities:

  • Classroom Cover (PDF)– Students will estimate percent cover in the classroom, using existing classroom items.
  • Plants With a Purpose (PDF)– Students will learn some different adaptations of riparian vs. upland plant species, and describe traditional medicinal uses of selected plants.
  • The Water, Land, and Plant Connection (PDF)– Students will explore the characteristics of specific stream channels and valley types, and list ways that flora and fauna habitat are determined by geomorphologic processes.

Magnifying Glass

Field Day Materials

Virtual Lesson

“The very uprightedness of the pines and maples asserts the ancient rectitude and vigor of nature.”- Henry David Thoreau

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