For many years South Prairie teacher, Jim Coon, taught his fourth graders about Chinook Salmon. Each year his students studied the fish from egg to release, dissected an adult salmon and visited the Trask River fish hatchery as a field trip. The students and their teacher cared for the eggs in a hatch box behind the school. They released into the Tillamook River because the little creek adjacent to the hatch box was not year-round and had a culvert near its connection to the Tillamook River. It was Mr. Coon's dream to someday make the little creek into a viable fish bearing stream. Over the years Mr. Coon inspired many others with his dream.
In 1996 a small committee of teachers began meeting with the goal of developing the stream. This group was led by Mr. Coon. The teachers sought the right to use the land through the Port of Tillamook Bay. A five-year lease was signed. They took their students to the area and began cleaning it up. Over the next five years litter and debris were removed, fences were built, a bridge was installed, trees planted and over 1600 feet of trails were established.
Today Coon Creek is South Prairie Elementary's "outdoor classroom."