Kids in the Creek: Connecting Youth to Their Watersheds

Alan Felker, eighth grade science teacher at Hardin Park Middle School in Boone, N.C., believes it’s important to expose kids to the environment around them. In North Carolina, eighth grade students are required to study state river basins and water quality issues. Felker took this opportunity to expose his students to our local and regional water programs.

Erin Savage, Appalachian Voices’ Water Quality Associate, spent a day in Felker’s classes talking with the students about topics ranging from protecting the Watauga River from pollution to Clean Water Act litigation in Kentucky. Later in the week, we assisted with a field trip to a site along the New River, where students learned to measure stream velocity and turbidity, and identify macro invertebrates. After completing the lab, students cleared several bags of trash from that section of the New.

Middle-school students inventory the water.

Hands-on activities are connecting students at Hardin Park Middle School in Boone, N.C. to their watersheds and helping them learn about issues ranging from water pollution to Clean Water Act litigation. Photo by Erin Savage.

“The New River is in our backyard, yet many students have never really explored the wonders of this important river system,” says Felker.

In the spring of 2012, Felker’s students will begin a study of Hardin Creek and explore the possibilities of restoring sections of the creek between Hardin Park and Watauga High School. Felker strives to not only educate his students, but also show them how they can have a positive effect on their environment.


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