By Alex Cooper, Community Watershed Specialist
After a mild December, 2016 came roaring in with winter temperatures. While most people have been huddling up inside, TTF Streamkeepers have been busy monitoring sites throughout the watershed and talking to neighbors about the Tookany Creek. Winter weather hasn’t kept residents who care from joining the Streamkeeper team: we’re happy to welcome five new Citizen Scientists collecting data in our Watershed!
Alexandria Khalil is a Jenkintown resident. She was already a watershed steward when she participated in our Rain Barrel program and installed her own Camel’s Hump Rain Barrel last spring. A strong advocate for reduce, reuse, and recycle, she has been following the Streamkeeper program since then. In December, she completed her first training and monitoring at McKinley Elementary School.
Sam and Ethan Simon are a unique addition to our team. Ethan is a chemist and his daughter Sam is a 9th grader at Abington Junior High School. Sam is doing a science project that uses stream conductivity measurements as an efficient, easy way to monitor for pollution. The Simon family brings chemistry expertise and a focused study to our monitoring.
Christine Randazzo has followed the Streamkeeper Program since our call for volunteers in June of 2014. A member of the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Chris is a seasoned environmentalist and active community member who is eager to educate others on suburban environmental issues. Chris is also monitoring the creek at McKinley Elementary School.
Ann Gaugler is a regular TTF event participant and birder. She is an Abington resident who has been interested in flood control projects and watershed protection. She helped us plant the buffer at Abington Junior High School! She is monitoring Baeder Creek at Baederwood Park with long-time TTF volunteer Judy Bishop.
We now have a bug-loving Streamkeeper! Nick Macelko is a Penn State Abington student. Nick carries macroinvertebrate identification cards with him at all times and is training for Macroinvertebrate ID Certification. These bugs are excellent indicators of water quality. He regularly shares his incredible photos of mayflies, caddisflies and other aquatic organisms he comes across. If you see a TTF bug photo, chances are Nick is to thank!
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to introduce TTF volunteer Geoffrey Selling. Geoffrey recently retired from Germantown Friends School (GFS) after 35 years of teaching. He incorporated stream monitoring with his students into his curriculum following his training at Stroud Water Research Center, and is a leader for environmental education teachers. In fact, TTF recognized the GFS 5th Grade Environmental Action Club with our first Watershed Youth Champion award in 2012! In addition to his education expertise, Geoffrey is knowledgeable about riparian buffers, rain barrels, and watershed stewardship. He will help train Streamkeepers, maintain buffers and work with teachers. If you are a TTF Streamkeeper and would like some extra streamside tips and training, contact TTF to meet Geoffrey at your site!
Take a look at our Streamkeeper page to learn more about the program and contact TTF to get started monitoring today!