June was Jam-Packed with Education Events!

Mountain Watershed Association has had an extra-busy June, holding several educational events in the early weeks of summer! Here are a few of the events we’ve attended:

Wild About Nature

On June 10, Stacey, one of our Community Organizers, attended the Fayette County Conservation District’s Wild About Nature event at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. 

MWA set up an educational table where local kids could play our Birds & Beaks game. This is a fun, sensory activity in which kids use tools (tongs, pipettes, tweezers, and more) as bird “beaks” to pick up objects in different substrates (sand, rocks, dirt, etc.). Then they match the “beaks” with the birds who use them and learn that different birds are adapted to eat different types of food.

We also displayed our collection of pelts and challenged kids to match the pelts with the corresponding skull! The otter and raccoon were crowd favorites! 

Jacob’s Creek Young Naturalist Sleepaway Camp

On June 12, Sarah, our Americorps member, and Taylor, our Conservation and Recreation Manager, helped out at Jacobs Creek Watershed Association’s Young Naturalist Sleepaway Camp. The Young Naturalist Camp provided an immersive overnight educational experience for children aged 11 – 13 in the beautiful woods and waters of Laurelville Retreat Center. 

Sarah and Taylor conducted a stream-life exploration in Jacobs  Creek, where they showed campers how to collect macroinvertebrates (stoneflies, snails, worms, crayfish, etc.), taught them how to ID each species and use that data to figure out if the stream was healthy. 

After collecting their specimens and analyzing the data, the kids gave Jacobs Creek an “excellent” score! 

Growing Up WILD Educator Training

Also on June 12, our Education Coordinator, Lindsey, attended the Growing Up WILD Training at the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville. 

MWA partnered with the Allegheny Land Trust to host this three-hour environmental education training.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education curriculum that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills. This is a multi-award winning curriculum having received the 2009 Family Choice Award and the 2011 Renewable Natural Resource Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award.

This event was full, nearly a dozen homeschool and public educators from the greater Laurel Highlands region! Each participant received a full-color activity guide with 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature based activities and learned how to teach children at levels that are individually, socially, and culturally appropriate.

The group had a blast at this workshop, and is looking forward to further educator trainings in the future! 

Fishing Skills Instructor Course

On June 14, Lindsey attended a Fishing Skills Instructor course with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. This workshop taught adult leaders how to teach basic fishing skills and aquatic ecology. Certified instructors then teach “SMART” Angler classes and Family Fishing Programs.

This certification is exciting, because now Lindsey is able to teach fishing to people who may not have a fishing license! 

Upcoming Summer Education Events:

Lindsey will be joining the Confluence Creative Arts Center this summer at their Eco-Art Day Camp on July 3 and 5 for the week themed: “Scales and Snakes and Things to Make.”

This camp will focus on art projects and activities that explore fish, reptiles, and amphibians of the Confluence region. Supplementary activities will include hikes, swimming, crafts, music, and games that explore the scaled critters in our region! 

She will also be at the East End United Community Center on July 10 for a lesson on aquatic mammals!

MWA is also continuing to add materials to our Outdoor Resource Library! Bring in your young naturalist(s), borrow some gear, and have a day of self-guided, outdoor fun! 

Keep an eye on our social media and newsletters for more awesome summer educational activities!