1,300 students participate in Salmon Summit at Columbia Park - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

1,300 students participate in Salmon Summit at Columbia Park

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KENNEWICK, WA - More than a thousand fourth and fifth graders converged into Columbia Park today, for Benton Conservation District's annual Salmon Summit.

Reporter Rex Carlin attended, and learned that the Salmon Summit isn't really a one-day educational experience.

The Benton Conservation District provides area schools equipment so students can hatch salmon eggs and raise them.

Early this morning, the students released the salmon into a stream at the park, and then it was time for the various stations scattered around the park from insect stations to a salmon cannon demonstration, aimed at revolutionizing adult salmon passage around dams.

But for organizers, Salmon Summit is about much more than raising salmon or seeing some cool technology...it's about making students' education more well-rounded as they grow up around this environment.

"These students are going to grow up and be the adults running our community, making decisions, voting, running businesses and agencies in our community," said Rachel Little with the Benton Conservation District. "So it's important that they understand it takes lots of different types of people, different areas of expertise to run a successful community."

The U.S. Coast Guard was also out there today, teaching safety out on the water to the students. Mostly fourth and fifth graders from area school districts were there, today being mostly Kennewick School District students.

Tomorrow, another 1,300 students from Richland and some smaller area districts will head down to Columbia Park for day two.