I'm proud to announce that our students were awarded the 4-H Alabama Water Watch Group of the Year award. These kids have worked hard to learn how to perform stream biomonitoring and water chemistry monitoring. Congrats, water watchers!
Today, we headed to Little River Canyon and DeSoto State Park in northeastern Alabama so that Ardmore students could experience camping, hiking and learning to weave longleaf pine baskets from the park naturalist. Thanks to a grant from PPG, this field trip was free to students!Our first stop was Little River Canyon Center, where students took a botany hike, visited the falls and got a lesson on native snakes from Sierra Reavis. Sierra was an excellent guide and teacher.
Our next stop was DeSoto State Park, where we took the time to set up camp before our class in the nature center. Brittney Hughes, the park naturalist, is an expert in longleaf pine basketry. We spent a few hours learning from her and making our own small baskets.
The students were excited to get to see the endangered green pitcher plants.
Their favorite part was probably the snake.
After the classes, we headed back to the camp site. Mariya showed us a camping tradition from Kazakhstan: fire potatoes. Yum!
Today, we loaded up the nets and microscopes and carried them down to Caney Creek Falls in Bankhead National Forest. The students have already learned about stream bio monitoring in the classroom, but today they learned to use the equipment in the stream. We sorted our findings into 3 groups of macro invertebrates: *Group 1 critters are super sensitive to pollution*Group 2 critters live in a wide range of conditions*Group 3 critters can survive very polluted water
This field study was the second part of Alabama Water Watch training. The students have already completed their water chemistry monitoring certifications. Ardmore and Clements students are involved in this program that is offered through 4-H. Our chemistry testing kit and transportation for the trip has been provided by a grant from PPG. To see more about this project, check out this article in Athens News Courier.