Alabama is rich with water resources! This state is home to the greatest number of freshwater fishes, snails, mussels, crayfishes, and turtles in the US. With 14 major river basins in the state that can be broken down into over 600 smaller watersheds, good stewardship is crucial to our water resources! The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provides a great aquatic education program which shares how we can each do our part to ensure Alabama's water resources are here for generations to come. The successful program called Creek Kids is now being offered in State Parks!
Creek Kids began in 2009 as a partnership between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Since the first Creek Kids field trip in 2009, the program has earned national recognition, including praise from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for its quality hands-on educational experience.
Above photo: Alabama State Parks Naturalists learn about the Creek Kids program and practice teaching methods.
The Creek Kids program primarily teaches students in grades 4-8 the complex and intertwined nature of a watershed with its surrounding man-made environment. Students can learn about the impacts of dams on waterways, and work with interactive educational models to illustrate how pollution moves through aquatic environments. Many students' favorite part of the field trip involves the hands-on collection of fish with a net and the viewing of various aquatic animals with microscopes.
For more information about the program in Alabama State Parks or to schedule a Creek Kids field trip, contact the park naturalists at Desoto and Oak Mountain state parks:
Desoto State Park
Brittney Hughes, park naturalist
Emily Cook, park naturalist
Creek Kids is also still available at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park*. For more information, visit the Creek Kids webpage, call 205-477-6301, or send an email. You can also view a video overview of the Creek Kids program below.
* Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is not operated by the Alabama State Parks Division.