Mariton: Nature Camp – Creekin’

July 31, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

MEBUS 4522-KickNet

Nature Camp went on a field trip to Fry’s Run this morning.  Bob Schmidt, of Fry’s Run Watershed Association, talked about the importance of protecting our local watersheds:  the small watersheds are part of bigger watersheds (like the Delaware River watershed).   We could see Mariton rising up on the other side of the creek, so it was easy to understand how rain falling at Mariton could eventually make its way into Fry’s Run.

MEBUS 4536-StudyingAquaticFindings

Then Bob helped us collect and identify the aquatic insect larvae that can be used to monitor a stream’s health.  The kids enjoyed looking at all the interesting bugs that live in our streams. 

MEBUS 4539-StudyingAquaticFindings

I took the field microscope, so things looked really awesome.

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Collecting and learning about creek critters are important to camp.  Splashing, tossing stones and getting wet is an important part of camp too!

MEBUS 4552-MeasuringStreamQuality

So how did the creek score today?  Well, Bob tallied a score of 23 based on what we found this morning.  That is a Very Good grade.  Bob had our score sheet for 2010 when Nature Camp visited and we had a score of 30 (or Excellent) that morning.  There are a couple things that could account for the different scores.  We had some major rainfall last weekend that could have washed some of the organisms downstream, or covered them with silt.  We also had a major heat wave a few weeks back that heated up the water and depleted oxygen.  The lack of oxygen eliminates some of the higher scoring aquatic insects.  (I think the intensity on the children’s faces speaks volumes.)