Blog by Will Steinberg, Abington Friends School senior
Last week on May 23, Cheltenham Elementary School‘s entire fourth grade released the trout they raised through the Trout in the Classroom program, with support of partners including Trout Unlimited, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Wyncote Audubon into the Pennypack Creek at Montgomery County Lorimer Park in Huntingdon Valley. This event was coordinated by TTF.
Before the rain, the students worked in groups to release the trout into the creek. The students spent the year growing the trout from eggs. Throughout the year they monitored the fish and fish tanks ensuring that the water quality was on par to keep the fish alive. They also engaged in stream habitat studies to understand the importance of water resources. The students were taught how to start conservation efforts and understand how to work within ecosystems.
On the day of the release, this teaching was reinforced. After releasing the trout, the students embarked on a day full of activities that taught them both about their home watershed and the ecosystem as a whole. The students participated in four different activities:
- A Ranger-Led Walk in which they looked at and studied birds they found in the park, led by members of Wyncote Audubon as well as a park ranger
- A study of macro invertebrates using a kick net to catch them and then examine them
- Fishing with newly made bamboo fishing rods led by Trout Unlimited
- A study of the effects of pollution on the watershed
The day was a success, allowing the students to not only have fun and release the trout that they had been growing all year, but teach them something valuable about the environment and the watershed. We look forward to continuing this new tradition with these awesome partners.
Does this program sound like fun for you and your organization or school? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. See more photos here!