Youth Education Programs
The work of the Pequannock River Coalition has been carefully geared toward "preserving the future." We realized that our children will reap the benefits of our accomplishments and may also pay the price of our failures. In turn, they will someday be stewards themselves, carrying the torch of watershed preservation.
With this in mind, it is essential to acquaint this next generation with the rich and sensitive web of life our waterways support and with how this life can be protected or harmed by choices we make every day.
Ideally, children would be brought into the field for a first-hand experience with our rivers and streams. But time for such field trips is scarce and other liability concerns can be real hurdles. So, rather than bring our children to the river we brought the river to them.
Based on similar successful programs, our River in the Classroom curriculum brought representative aquatic systems, including fish, aquatic insects and other river life, directly into our schools. Set-up of aquariums, accompanied by text and lectures, provided an informative and lively introduction. After a second lecture session, and an interactive pollution demonstration, the lessons sink home.
This program was hosted in seven of our watershed towns, reaching more than four thousand students. It has earned us the USEPA's "Environmental Quality Award" for 2008. The response from both students and teachers has been extremely positive. Our hope for the future rides on these youngsters.