Recently students from Alabaster’s Kingwood Christian School and Walker County’s Parrish Elementary participated in a hands-on aquatic education course, Creek Kids, at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla, Ala. The Creek Kids program is a partnership between the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park.
Designed by WFF to fit into the Alabama Course of Study for Science, the Creek Kids program allows many students the type of hands-on environmental learning that an indoor classroom cannot provide.
Parrish sixth grade teacher Susie Lemon said the best way for children to learn about aquatic education is to get them wet in Alabama’s creeks. “We love this trip because it’s a relaxing day outdoors and the kids learn how to make a difference for the environment.”
During their visit, the students learned about the importance of watershed ecology including how dams and pollution affect stream-fish populations. The thrill of netting various aquatic species by wading into Mud Creek and viewing microorganisms under a microscope were Creek Kids highlights for many of the students. Students also were treated to an overview of the watershed via a train ride, and visited the Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama to learn about Alabama’s iron industry.
Tracy Thompson, a fifth grade teacher at Kingwood, said her fifth grade students had an amazing adventure at Tannehill. “We thank the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division for such a great learning experience,” she said.
The Creek Kids program is $5 per student. Public schools with 40 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced lunches may have their fees waived. Assistance with some transportation costs also may be provided. Funding for Creek Kids comes from the sale of “Take a Kid Fishing” car tags. To plan a Creek Kids field trip for your students, contact Brenda Morrison at 205-477-6301 or Brenda.Morrison@dcnr.alabama.gov.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.