Classroom Area Used For Stream Monitoring Program
An outdoor education area operated by the Lake George Association in late spring and early fall on village recreation center property has become more accommodating for students learning about stream ecology.
Thanks to a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and approval from the Lake George Village Board, the LGA has developed an outdoor classroom, complete with benches and a teaching table, that were installed in an area of the Village recreation center where the LGA already holds educational sessions about the health of the Lake George watershed with students from regional schools.
At their Aug. 19 meeting, The Lake George Village Board approved a request by the Lake George Association to place nine permanent benches and a teaching table near a lean-to and stream on the village land for the outdoor education sessions.
“Teaching outdoors is a great opportunity to engage the students,” said Lindsey Kenna, the LGA’s Environmental Educator. “The benches and teaching table near West Brook on the Village’s recreation property will provide a more engaging environment for the classes.”
Conducted for about 1,500 students per year, the classes provide the opportunity for students to assess stream habitat condition as well as catch, identify and quantify macro-invertebrates whose presence indicate whether the host stream is healthy or polluted.
The class site is a five-minute walk down a trail from the recreation center parking lot, and is often paired with the LGA’s on-the-water Floating Classroom program, providing land and water based education in one field trip.
For a decade, the LGA has been bringing students to the property to determine the health of streams in the Lake George watershed, part of its broad Education and Outreach program.
“The stream monitoring program is an important opportunity to teach people about the importance of healthy streams to the water quality of Lake George,” said Kristen Wilde, the LGA’s Education Director. “Fifty-five percent of the water in Lake George comes from streams, so the Lake’s water quality depends heavily on how healthy the streams are.”
“We are thankful to the Lake Champlain Basin Program for supporting this project to create the classroom so we can teach students more effectively about stream ecology, pollution and conserving our local streams,” Wilde said.
The benches – custom built for the outdoor classroom by Kenna and her father, Daniel – will be left up year round. During winter months, the area will be cordoned off and warning markers will be in place to alert snowmobilers of their presence to prevent collisions, village Mayor Robert Blais said.
Installation took place just after Labor Day, and the first class will use the new outdoor classroom the following week.
As Published in the Lake George Mirror, September 6, 2019