Monday, May 17, 2010

Americorp Watershed Updates, Part 1 of 4: Moxahala Watershed

Rural Action's AmeriCorps members have been busy with organizing numberous environmental education activities this spring. All Americorp members have organized and implemented opportunities for volunteers and students to learn about our environment, and stewardship of one of our most precious resources. This four part series will highlight their recent accomplishments.

The first part of this series will focus on Americorp member Amy Kettner wit the Moxhahala Watershed Restoration Commission:

Amy has reported that their "Earth Day on the Muskingum" event was a huge success with twice as many attendees as last year. The Watershed Group gained two new members, and presented educational programming to over 100 children on the effects of water pollution and how it can impact the water that we drink.

In this demonstration MWRC handed out clear plastic cups, and had the kids fill the cups with large gravel. The children then grabbed a ball of clay and flattened it into a pancake and placed it over the gravel in the cup. We then added smaller aquarium gravel on top of the clay, enough to slope up to the top on one side of the cup. The children then picked either a fish or turtle and placed them in their model lake bed. As their cups were filled with water Amy discussed that we all get our drinking water from an aquifer (the water contained under the clay layer in the cup) or a surface lake (the water at the top of the cup). Everyone observed how the water made it easily past the clay, to the bottom of the cup and that a nice little lake for our animal to swim in was created. Red food coloring, to represent pollution, was added by the children to pollute their cup. Not one person in attendance was willing to pollute their watershed!

In the end all the watersheds were polluted with red food coloring. The children guessed whether the dye would travel to the bottom of the cup and how long it would take. At the end of the activity Amy showed them the watershed that was made at the beginning of the fair. The red food coloring had made it’s way to the bottom of the cup and had even dyed the clay layer. All in all the event was a great opporutnity to provide visual demonstrations for the kids that are easy to understand.

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