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watershed program

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation offers a spring guide to local students, teaching them canoeing and interacting with the natural world.

HARRISBURG – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is busy this spring guiding local students through a series of hands-on programs to emphasize the importance of clean water.

Students from 14 different counties will get a chance to get out on the water and learn first-hand the critical connection to the natural world.

“It is very important to get the students outside on the water,” said Tom Parke, and educator with the foundation. “Many of the students, like today’s East Pennsboro group. They live right next to the river but have never experienced the water themselves. They get to enjoy the river, see it’s beauty, and hopefully they will want to protect it.”

“I think it is important to study about the watershed so you know where your water and drinking water comes from,” East Pennsboro freshman Jacob Doll said.

“When we are in the water we like to test the water’s turbidity, the clarity of the water. We are looking at the nutrient levels as well,” Parke explained.

“I think the more you know the watershed where you are living they more you know about where you are from and how it affects you,” Doll said.

These programs have been serving students for more than 15 years.

Getting an opportunity to learn how to paddle a canoe is an extra bonus to the program.

“The program is a canoe-based program,” Parke said. “The students learn how to canoe at the beginning of the day. And the old town canoes are great vessels for exploration on the water. The students are able to get some exercise, work as a team, and explore together.”

He said, hopefully, these programs will motivate students to make critical decisions about their natural world.