Students get environmental lesson

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To commemorate Earth Day, the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority-Wallkill River Watershed Management Group partnered with Sussex County Community College (SCCC) to plan an environmentally-themed event for SCCC and Halsted Street Middle School students.

Throughout the event, Halsted students rotated through a series of stations led by the SCMUA-Wallkill River Watershed Management Group, SCCC students and faculty, Sussex County Clean Communities, and the AmeriCorps N.J. Watershed Ambassador Program. By participating in each station, students learned about plant structure and function, macroinvertebrate (aquatic insect) identification to determine water quality, the importance of planting tree buffers along waterways for stream health, how to prevent non-point source pollution, the ecological benefits of recycling, and how to become a watershed steward at the local level. During the afternoon, Halsted Middle School students also participated in a campus trail walk organized by SCCC’s Adventure Club, a campus litter clean-up led by Sussex County Clean Communities and SCCC’s Biology Club, and a stormwater walk led by the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group.

SCCC’s biology students took an active role in educating the middle school students about different groups of plants, flower structure and function, and tree identification. This event allowed SCCC students to fulfill their service learning requirements by teaching the skills they have acquired in the classroom to younger students from Halsted Middle School. Service learning provides college students a platform to meet community needs by sharing the skills they have gained with others. This event is unique in that it connected college-aged students with middle school students from Newton, resulting in a sharing of experiences among different age groups.

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