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Students receive ‘Watershed Ed’ at park

It was a beautiful day for Watershed Ed.

The Chapman State Park program brought together experts from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of State Parks, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Warren County Conservation District (WCCD), and Allegheny National Forest (ANF) to help educate students in the ways of watersheds.

On Friday, 37 ninth-graders from Eisenhower High School spent the day at the park.

They mapped a portion of Penny Run, collected samples of water to test its composition, strained the water to gather biological samples, identified tree species, and heard about the species that inhabit the lake.

ANF Aquatics Program Manager Nate Welker led his group to the spillway and talked aquatics. The program called for electroshocking to get a look at the species in the water, but recent rains made the water too murky, Welker said.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Eisenhower High School ninth-grader Isaac Mocny strains a sample from Penny Run during a look for macroinvertebrates in the waterway as part of Watershed Ed day at Chapman State Park.

Taylor Chamberlin and Pierce Landis of the Bureau of Forestry held a tree identification station at the pavilion.

Suzann Rensel of Clear Creek State Park instructed students in mapping a stream.

WCCD Watershed Specialist Jean Gomory helped students find and identify macroinvertebrates — creatures without backbones that are large enough to be seen without a microscope.

Chapman’s Environmental Education Specialist Jen Moore had students collect and test samples of Penny Run.

The numbers were good, though the water was somewhat turbid — cloudy with suspended materials — due to recent rains.

Eisenhower is not the only school participating in Watershed Ed. Learning Enrichment Center students were there earlier in the week and students from Warren County Christian School and Youngsville Elementary School will go through the program in the next week.

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