Students learn about local conservation efforts on Rum Creek

Students from the Summer Journeys program help to collect water quality data on Rum Creek.

The section of Rum Creek across from the Rockford Community Cabin was busy with activity Saturday morning, June 23. Eighteen students from middle schools in the Grand Rapids metro area were busy collecting water quality data on Rum Creek.

These students were part of the Summer Journeys program, which was founded in 2008 to help students understand, interact with and value communities. Through place-based, field-based, expeditionary educational programs, this program provides students with unforgettable experiences in a close-knit community of their peers.

One of the sites assessed is an area where native plants will be planted along Rum Creek off of Monroe Street.

David Buth, a Summer Journeys program leader, partnered with Trout Unlimited to collect baseline data at future restoration sites as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative program. Students investigated aquatic insects, quantified the amount of gravel on the stream bottom, placed pins on the side of the stream bank to measure erosion rates, and measured depths and widths of the stream. The future restoration sites include a native buffer planting and removal of the old Mill Pond dam.

The data collected by the students will help Trout Unlimited determine whether or not both water quality and habitat quality have improved, whether or not the goals of the project have been met, and guide ongoing restoration efforts.

To learn more about the Summer Journeys program, go to www.summerjourneys.org.

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