Learning about the Carson River
January 11, 2011
Five years ago, the first group of students from Douglas High School FFA participated in the annual Conserve Carson River Work Day by helping elementary students work on conservation projects. Soroptimist International of Carson Valley sponsored the work day with the Carson Valley Conservation District and the Western Nevada RC&D, and enlisted the River Wranglers to help with the program.
The Carson River field trips provide the opportunity for fourth-grade students to study Nevada history, and learn the importance of water.
Students go through stations learning about the Carson River watershed, the water cycle, stream chemistry, aquatic insects and bioengineering projects to protect the streambank.
Students from Minden Elementary with mentors from Silver State Charter High School in Carson attended the Conserve Carson River Work Day at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park. They toured the historic home and worked on a bioengineering project.
“Show me and I’ll forget, teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I’ll understand” is the focus of this watershed-wide field trip. River Wranglers organized work days in Douglas Carson and Lyon counties, and more than 850 students participated in the 16th annual event in 2010.
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Funding is provided by the Carson Water Subconservancy District, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the Smallwood Foundation. Conserve Carson River Work Days is supported by Dan Kaffer of the Western Nevada RC&D, and local conservation groups.
The River Wranglers host the Carson River Festival this spring. Information, nevada riverwranglers.org or nevada firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thank you for teaching me so much about the Carson River,” wrote Chase, a GES fourth-grader to his mentor Shelby, an FFA student attending DHS. “The best part was when we made bead (water cycle) bracelets. And the worst part when I had to leave.”
Madi, a Meneley fourth-grader wrote a thank-you letter to her high school mentor, Joe from DHS. “My favorite activities were making the bracelet, doing the chemistry, and planting the grass seeds. I liked planting the grass seeds because I got to the hold the seeds, and I like to plant gardens. Thank you for being my teen helper.”
Following the field trip to the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park, Ranger Mark Jensen wrote, “Today was wonderful. This is the type of activity I’d like to do more of, and thank you for demonstrating some techniques for doing it well. I’ve decided that it is much more enjoyable to tell kids about the Dangbergs than most adults.”
Local conservation districts partner with River Wranglers to offer hands-on learning for elementary and high school students. Meneley and Gardnerville elementary schools participated with the FFA teens this year. Soroptimist International of Carson Valley hosted the event for Minden Elementary.
“I am so grateful for all the community support,” said Linda Conlin, director of River Wranglers. “To see the students working together learning about our river, the importance of water and how they can make a positive impact on the health of the river is very gratifying.”