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.
Creek Kids is not always just for kids, though! DeSoto State Park is hosting a Creek Kids Watershed Workshop for kids and adults on Saturday, June 27, 2015, from 9am to 2pm. The workshop will be free and open to ages 8 to adult. Please note that pre-registration is required and workshop is limited to 15 participants. Please call 256.997.5025 or email for details. Check out the event on Facebook for more details or visit the DeSoto State Park web page!
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