Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stream ecology

Highlight of today:

We went to the Watershed Community of the Ozarks at the Water Valley Mill Park today to learn about stream ecology by Aquatics Biologist, Mike Kromrey. That is, after we got good and lost and took 45 minutes extra to find it!

The kids got to scoop out aquatic life from the stream and began identifying and counting the various species of life. They learned about how streams in the Ozarks tend to "disappear" and go underground for awhile before reappearing. The stream we were in went about 1/4 mile down and then went into the limestone for about 2 miles. Incredible, huh?!

Mr. Kromrey also taught them the importance of keeping the watershed pure. Ever wonder what and where a watershed is? Answer: It's the ground that water soaks into and eventually travels into the rivers, lakes, and streams. He taught them some painless ways to conserve water while he was at it, like not watering sidewalks, along with turning off faucets while brushing teeth.

Oh, yes, the kids scooped up some very interesting aquatic life too. Glass--auto safety glass. Definitely belongs in a stream that goes directly into our drinking water, no? Loverly.

Of course, you can't put a bunch of kids in a stream without some very fun swimming time. The stream was actually fairly deep in places. The kids were freezing when they got out of the water because the stream has a spring at its head. The sun was warm with a cloudless sky too.

Great day!

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