I’ve often been asked that question. Actually i have asked question in many classrooms. One of the best answers i got was “It’s where my mom keeps the Perrier!!!!” This from a fifth grader. He also didn’t know that the large body of water right outside the classroom window was Barnegat Bay….
The simple answer is “the land surrounding a body of water that drains runoff water into it”, that is a watershed. Some are big, some are small. Some overlap others and some stretch so far from the water body you hardly recognize them.
The Watershed Walk is an educational event here on the Eastern Shore aimed at 4th, 5th, and 6th grades but is also informative and fun for folks of any age. What we stress is “almost anything you do on the land in your watershed has an effect on the water body it drains to.” Some good, some bad. Over use of fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide has a negative effect. Dumping of hazardous material like motor oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, or antifreeze also have a negative effect. BUT using the correct amounts of fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, disposing of hazardous materials properly, and planting buffer zones around agricultural fields can have a positive effect. Lesson over!!!!!
This is our third year running the Watershed Walk. The OUR is the Environmental Education Council, which is part of the Eastern Shore Soil and Water Conservation District. If you live in the US and check around i bet you will find you also have one of these organizations. This year (numbers aren’t in yet) we had over 1000 visitors take the walk. There were 18 federal, state, local and Non Government environmental agencies in attendance. As the kids visited each display they earned a critter card (like a baseball card but with a critter on one side and info on the other side). After collecting 6 cards they could get a prize, and for 8 cards they got 2 prizes. So what did this al look like??????
Our next big event is Autumn in Onley, a fund raiser for the Historic Onley Train Station. BUT in between we are heading back to Bryson City and the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad for RAIL FEST this weekend. So watch for more fun.