We participate in a variety of educational programs. We make presentations to local civic groups and work with students from 3rd through 12th grades.
We have worked on a stream bank restoration project in which 4th grade students from Cooperstown and Rocky Grove Elementary School planted over 500 Silky and Black Willow and Red Osier Dogwood along a section of reconstructed bank of Lake Creek in Cooperstown, PA. As part of the project students received instructions about stream channel formation, non-point source pollution and aquatic macro-invertebrates. With the use of a "stream table" students were able to view the flow of water through a simulated stream. They learned about erosion of the bank and deposition of sediments in pools. Through the use of a model town, students learned how run off from parking lots, farms and golf courses can cause stream pollution.
With aquatic macro-invertebrates embedded in plastic students learned about the adaptations aquatic insects use to survive and how pollution affects the numbers of aquatic organisms in a stream.
In another project 6th grade students from Cranberry Elementary School collected aquatic macro-invertebrates from a pond on the grounds of the Izaak Walton League. In this project students used dip nets to collect aquatic organisms then sorted and counted their catch. The results were recorded on water quality assessment sheets and a score was used to determine the health of the pond.
In other projects students used D nets to collect macro-invertebrates from a stream in Two Mile Run County Park. The students then sorted and counted their catch and recorded their results to determine the quality of the stream. As part of their observations students learned about the adaptations used by different macro-invertebrates to survive in many different areas of the stream.
Our watershed education programs with students are arranged by the Venango Conservation District.