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Creek Kids Allows Students to Wade into Environmental Concepts
September 04, 2009
Hands-on environmental learning is now available through “Creek Kids,” a partnership of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The Creek Kids Program teaches students in grades four to eight about aquatic environments.
Students experience an overview of a watershed via a train ride, see the impact of a mill dam on fish passage, and visit the Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama to learn about Alabama’s iron industry. Students will work with an EnviroScape, which is an interactive educational model that illustrates how pollution can move into the aquatic environment. Students also wade into a bubbling spring and creek for a hands-on experience with native fish and invertebrates.
Many species of fish and aquatic invertebrates, including some types of crayfish, mussels, and snails, live only in Alabama. Students attending Creek Kids have a good chance of observing an Alabama darter, a small fish only found in certain Alabama streams. Unless Alabama’s citizens better understand our unique aquatic environment, some of these species may become extinct.
The Creek Kids program costs $5 per student. Some schools may have their fees waved if they are public schools with 40 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced lunches. Assistance may include some transportation costs. Funding of this effort comes from the sale of “Take A Kid Fishing” car tags. To make Creek Kids reservations call 205-477-6301, or email Maurice Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, www.tannehill.org, is part of the Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission, www.alaironworks.com. The park is open to a wide variety of activities including hiking and camping. The Steel and Iron Museum of Alabama is housed in the park. Tannehill is well known for its trade days, which are held on the third Saturday and following Sunday of each month, March through November.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Photo, left to right: WFF Biologist Maurice Jackson and Tuscaloosa Christian School Student Dina Patel.