Students learn to protect local waterways

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Third-graders from Ogdensburg, Franklin, and Hamburg recently worked with the SCMUA-Wallkill River Watershed Management Group as part of an outdoor educational field day at Heater’s Pond.

In the morning, the students rotated through a series of stations where they studied water pollution, examined live aquatic insects, completed a fish painting craft, and played a game to learn about the water cycle.

As part of the event, students also had a chance to participate in a litter clean-up around the park, run a litter/recycling sorting relay race, learn about the mosquito life cycle, plant native trees and shrubs, and examine the effects of stormwater runoff on local rivers and streams.

In addition to the Wallkill River Watershed Management Group, the other entities that played a crucial role in leading stations at the event were: North Jersey Trout Unlimited, Sussex County Clean Communities, Sussex County Office of Mosquito Control, The Nature Conservancy, the AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador Program, and the Wallkill Valley High School Ecology Club. The Heater’s Pond event was unique in that Wallkill Valley High School students had a chance to work side-by-side with their younger peers from the Wallkill Valley ascending districts.

The day provided an opportunity for children to interact with students from neighboring boroughs while also learning how to take action on the local level to keep rivers and streams clean. All 128 students in attendance had a great time participating in the outdoor activities, and many remarked that their favorite portion of the day was planting trees in the park.

If you would like to work with the SCMUA-Wallkill River Watershed Management Group to plan an outdoor educational event with your students, please contact Kristine Rogers by email at or by phone at 973-579-6998 ext. 110.

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