SWCD Promotes Getting Outdoors with Water Programs
June 3, 2021 by Kathy McClure

If you’ve ever wondered what creepy crawlies lurk in streams, how lakes and streams can affect health, or if a waterway is healthy, a new Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District program will provide these answers and more.

If you’ve ever wondered what creepy crawlies lurk in streams, how lakes and streams can affect health, or if a waterway is healthy, a new Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District program will provide these answers and more.

 

Calling All Youth

During the months of June, July and August, youth of all ages are invited to attend one or more outings to explore the health, vitality and habitat of Geauga County rivers and streams.

Colleen Sharp, of the GCSWCD, will be leading these explorations in conjunction with the Millennium Youth Conservationists team.

Sediment sticks, water chemistry kits and kick seines will be provided to participants to take a deeper dive into the health and contribution streams and waterways make to life in the area, Sharp said, adding

streams are full of insects, dragonflies, water pennies and macroinvertebrate life such as caddisflies, freshwater clams and crayfish.

Monitoring such life in streams is vital to verifying that there are enough food sources and balance to keep waterways healthy. While some are pollutant tolerant, other pollution-sensitive organisms need to be counted and recorded, she said.

This exploration and learning event is free and open to registration of all age youth. It is held in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Scenic Rivers Program.

Outings are held on Thursdays twice a month at 10 a.m. Adult biologists from the GCSWCD will guide these explorations and the schedule includes the following dates: June 17 and 24; July 8 and 22; and Aug. 5 and 17. Locations will include Michell’s Mills, Swine Creek Reservation and Whitesburg Park respectively.

Anyone, including adults, interested in participating in one or more outing can contact Sharp at 440-834-1122 Ext#6 or csharp@geaugaswcd.com for more information.

For Teachers and Educators

The Geauga and Portage Soil and Water Conservation Districts are sponsoring WOW! Advanced Wonders of Watersheds. This three-day series will study and provide an in-depth look at the natural resources in the Great Lakes Region, according to the districts.

The first class on June 24 is a virtual overview, followed by an overnight stay from June 28 through June 29, which includes single room lodging, meals, guide materials, as well as graduate hour credits through Ashland University. There is a fee and some scholarships are still available for the program, according to the districts.

This professional development opportunity offers hands-on activities and real science experience in the Lake Erie basin that can be shared with classroom students, said Gail Prunty, of the GCSWCD.

“Now more than ever, Lake Erie provides the perfect backdrop to investigate increasingly important water quality and land use issues,” Prunty said.

Enrollment is limited and timely so Prunty encourages people to contact their local SWCD office soon.  Participants interested in scholarships may contact office staff members, as well. Prunty can be reached at 440-834-1122 or gprunty@geaugaSWCD.com. The Portage County contact is Lynn Vogel at 330-297-7633 or lvogel@portageswcd.com.