The weather sure was HOT this July and it should be just as warm this month too. Ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers are some of the best places to cool off, so it's not surprising that educators and students are opting to learn about watersheds during summer.
WATERSHED ECOLOGY INSTITUTE
Teachers from around the state came together to learn about the ecology and health of watersheds and how to map them using ArcGIS tools. They explored the Eco Ag Center at the County Farm campus and the Little Sugar River in Unity. NH Fish and Game staff and volunteers led and funded this amazing 3-day workshop that included story mapping, water quality surveying, electroshock fishing, place-based education techniques, and Project Aquatic Wild activities.
Students from all over the Upper Valley gathered together this past week at Saint Gaudens to attend their annual STEAM Camp. Dawn brought the SCCD stream table to Blow Me Down Farm in Cornish and students observed how water moves over and around obstacles in the stream. Small groups of students were challenged to create a town that included houses, vegetation, and a bridge with a culvert system and protect it from the power of storm and flood waters. They got a chance to think like city planners and test their ideas on the river model.
The theme of water and movement continued as the middle school students created self-propelled boats that were raced down the river and finished with a stream critter search. Critters were observed more closely as students investigated how each one moved through the water or stayed put in the current. They observed body structures and behaviors and later identified each organism before releasing them back into their habitats.
Next time you are at your favorite swimming hole cooling off, turn over a rock and see what lives there, pick-up trash and dispose of it properly, and share with others how important it is to keep our water resources clean and healthy.