On Wednesday, May 4, the seventh-grade students accompanied Ms. Sandy Patterson and Mr. Ed Dickenson to Virginia Tech's Catawba Sustainability Center to participate in a watershed study program.
The students received instruction and guidance from two instructors from the Clean Valley Council. The students spent the day identifying Best Management Practices for the local watershed, collecting macro-invertebrates from Catawba Creek, identifying non-native plants in the ecosystem, and chemically testing the creek to determine water quality. The macro-invertebrate collection was exceptionally diverse and bountiful this year and it included 29 hellgrammites, 57 mayflies, 71 stone-flies, and 20 crayfish. The group concluded that the creek was in a much healthier state than previous years, and other than having to brave the cold water, the students seemed to enjoy this experience.