Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh, the Wonders of Water

"Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps." -Henry Davide Thoreau, Walking

It was with this sentiment that seven West Virginia school teachers and five TMI instructors took part in TMI's four-day Wonders of Water (WOW) workshop this July at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center. After learning and practicing Project WET activities with Rose Long of the WV Department of Environmental Protection, and Wonders of Wetlands activities with Kate Frase of Environmental Concern, everyone dug into Environmental Concern's "Planning of Wetlands" (POW) process for creating schoolyard wetland habitat. The POW guide details everything one needs to know to take a hunk of lawn and make it a marshland or swamp filled with macroinvertebrates and sedges. At the Spruce Knob Mountain Center, we had a jump on the game with the beloved Butt Cheek Ponds, an existing set of wetlands. The Butt Cheeks have some wildlife but were in much need of diverstiy and a face-lift to fulfill the desired education role. Thanks so much to the participants who opened up the viewshed, suffered the prick of an occasional hawthorn, laid the stone pathway, and planned the proper location and density of our new wetland vegetation. We planted 242 stems of Swamp Milkweed, Blue Joint Grass, Marsh Hibiscus, Blue Flag Iris, Lizard's Tail, Wool Grass, and Soft Stem Bulrush. We look forward to having everyone back to our new High Camp Wetland Revitalization Project in the near future. Bring your students!

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