Wednesday, November 01, 2006

News

Youth Act Groups Plan Projects

All three Youth Act groups, located at Alexander Middle School, Trimble Middle School, and Federal Hocking Middle School, are currently planning their service learning projects for the year.

Alexander Middle School’s Youth Act group will be both organizing a recycling program in their school and formulating concerns and possible solutions about school and community issues to discuss with the school community.

With the help of Emily Boyer, Sunday Creek VISTA and Adam Fitch, Environmental Learning Program VISTA, the Trimble Middle School’s Youth Act members will be learning about the Sunday Creek Watershed through hands on activities. They will then present this information to various youth and community groups in order to educate them and get participants for Sunday Creek’s Recycled Fashion Show, which will take place in May.

Federal Hocking Middle School’s Youth Act group is planning a school dance to benefit My Sister’s Place, a shelter for battered women and their children.

All three Youth Act groups plan their own service learning projects with the help of Liz Bonny, Youth Act VISTA. They determine the issue they would like to address and then explore personal and community assets that can help them to address the problem. The groups will design, publicize, and implement their service learning projects, taking into consideration the community’s assets and input, while developing leadership and organizational skills.


Monday Creek Tour

On Saturday, October 14th , the Monday Creek Restoration Project led 14 people on a tour the Monday Creek Watershed. Both the tour participants and the staff of MCRP, who organized and facilitated the tour, enjoyed the wonderful fall weather and the chance to go hiking in the woods on a sunny afternoon.

The tour began at MCRP’s office in New Straitsville, and took trips to several sites nearby where MCRP has been working on grant-funded projects to improve water quality. At the first site, the group hiked into a reclamation area two miles south of New Straitsville. There, in the midst of the Wayne National Forest, a number of water treatment ponds and channels are being constructed to treat bad water that is polluting Monday Creek near the town of Greendale. The hillsides in this area were once strip-mined, leaving behind a changed landscape and coal mine pollution. The pollution, known as Acid Mine Drainage or AMD, kills off life in affected water by making it too acidic too live in.

For Christa Myers, a tour participant from the Logan area, this was a novel concept. “The Monday Creek Restoration Project tour was an eye-opening experience for me. I have lived near this area for most of my life, but did not realize how impactful mining has been to the landscape, and not necessarily for the positive.” Other participants expressed similar thoughts and feelings, and for many, this was their first exposure to the water quality issues that effect the coalmining regions of Southeast Ohio.

The annual tour, held each October, is intended to showcase the beauty, recreational opportunities, and history of the Monday Creek Watershed. As this successful tour demonstrated, it is raising awareness of ongoing efforts to improve the water quality of Monday Creek. Monday Creek Restoration Project, along with its partner agencies and organizations, has been developing solutions to watershed issues for more than 12 years, for the benefit of the local communities and environment. Said Myers, “The end result is the recovering health of a creek. But…there is much work that still has yet to be done.”

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