On July 31st, 2013 the Ottawa River Coalition hosted the 2013 River Event as part of their summer youth program. Alloway had the privilege of assisting with this important program by leading a session on water quality testing. Over 100 children had the opportunity to investigate temperature and pH levels in river water samples, and discuss how the measurements affect the organisms that call the river home. (For an up-close look at the day’s activities, see the pictures displayed in the sidebar of this page.)
Participants also rotated to three other sessions where they learned about fish, insects, and rock formations. Each group got to take an up-close look at fish collected from pools in the stream bed. The children also got to indentify and classify insects caught in a kick net while making a water quality assessment based on each insect species’ pollution tolerance. Finally, the children were able to investigate the limestone rock from the stream bed and compare that to other forms of rock.
The Ottawa River Coalition Coordinator, Beth Seibert stated, “The kids were amazed at the fish and insects that live in this river. It’s been our experience that these kids walk by this river every day, but they often view it as a pond and never as a natural resource. Our goal is to help them understand that the river is full of life, and that life tells an important story about the health of the river.”
To learn more about the Ottawa River Coalition visit ThisIsMyRiver.org. To see more photos from the River Event, visit the Allen Soil and Water Conservation District’s Facebook page.