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In spite of record-setting heat and a particularly damaging storm that heavily impacted the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed, volunteers gathered June 15 for the annual Hoosier Riverwatch training presented by The Watershed Foundation and the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The training was led by Lyn Crighton of The Watershed Foundation and Darci Zolman of the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Conducting a variety of experiments with drops of water, volunteers became citizen scientists as they learned to assess stream water quality, conduct testing for a wide variety of possible pollutants and learned to submit the data they collected into a statewide, volunteer monitoring database. Hoosier Riverwatch, sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, is a statewide education program that focuses on local lake, river and stream stewardship. To date, more than 5,000 people have participated. There is no charge for the annual training.
In all, 12 people participated in this year’s training.
Crighton believes the Hoosier Riverwatch training program is essential.
“Protecting and monitoring our water quality is critical to the future of the lakes and streams in our watershed. Passionate volunteers who care about our watershed and the environment provide a necessary link to information we need,” said Crighton, executive director of The Watershed Foundation. “In partnership with our volunteers, we are able to collect more data and learn so much more about the health of our water. Once they’ve been trained, our volunteers discover that this is not only interesting, but they also discover a sense of pride in taking a hands-on role in helping the environment.”
To learn more about Hoosier Riverwatch, visit www.HoosierRiverwatch.com. There, you can find water-quality data collected by program graduates and to discover where monitoring has taken place. For more information about The Watershed Foundation and the 25 years of action the organization has taken to protect and preserve water quality in the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed, visit www.watershedfoundation.org
An additional training will be offered this year by the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District on August 1, 2022, at the Washington STEM Academy in Warsaw from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Darci Zolman at Darci.Zolman@IN.nacdnet.net or (574) 267-7445 ext. 5374 to register. There is no cost to participate.