Thursday, May 20, 2010

Americorp Watershed Updates, Part 3 of 4: Monday Creek and Sunday Creek

The Monday Creek Restoration Project, in cooperation with Sunday Creek Watershed Group, completed their Ohio Environmental Education Fund project, creating vernal pools, and highlighting environmental careers during a week long program at Trimble High School.

AmeriCorps members Matt Halfhill and Sarah Drerup organized a week of activities and speakers for three environmental science classes with approximately 45 students. Speakers from local natural resource agencies came in to speak about opportunities in the region for environmental careers. Students were taught about vernal pools and the creatures that live in them. The final day was a field trip to the Trimble Land Lab. A local business dug two vernal pools on the property with a backhoe. The classes visited three stations while on the field trip. Dana White led a plant walk where he talked about trees and wildflowers. Sarah led a group to a vernal pool and taught them about monitoring vernal pools and what can be done with the data they collect. Matt led the finishing crew on the pools. They contoured the sides to reduce erosion and allow amphibians better access to the pool and tamped in the loose clay. At the end of the day the land was seeded and mulched around the newly excavated area. Two days later we received a large amount of rain fall and filled both of the pools .

Future classes will have the opportunity to monitor these pools and report their findings to the Ohio Environmental Councils database. It is believed to be the first monitoring of vernal pools reported to the EPA from Athens County.