By TTF Intern Dana Kluchinski
TTF was happy to be invited to Glenside Elementary School in Cheltenham earlier this month for some hands-on watershed education! On June 2nd, TTF Community Watershed Specialist Alex Cooper and Intern Dana Kluchinski intern visited to connect students to the riparian buffer we planted a few years ago along the Tookany Creek, which runs through the backyard of the school.
Rain kept us inside, but we still had a fun morning with the fourth graders in the auditorium fourth graders. These students impressed us with their knowledge of the water cycle, using words like evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, and runoff. We talked about pollution, and how it can enter our water cycle, affecting the watershed and our drinking water. The students observed how runoff works with our enviroscape model.
After using the model, the students designed their own waterfront property. They drew pictures of their zoos, amusement parks, strip malls, vacation homes, farms, and cruise ships. Then we lined up each drawing and discussed the kinds of pollution each property creates –such as gasoline from cars, trash, and animal waste. Because we share the river, pollution that is carried downstream affects all the other properties and people that live there. A farm needs to use the water for crops and livestock, but if it is downstream from the shopping mall, the water may be polluted.
The students learned how to do their part by picking up after their dogs, recycling, picking up trash, planting trees, and using less or no chemicals on their lawns. We are excited that these young watershed stewards will take their knowledge home and to their neighborhoods, and look forward to visiting Glenside again soon.
Find more information on buffers here.