BRATTLEBORO — The Connecticut River Conservancy is introducing the EnviroScape Watershed/Nonpoint Source Model, a valuable tool for teaching elementary and middle school students how stormwater runoff collects pollutants and transports them to our lakes and rivers. This physical model helps educate students on green topics, which can be difficult to understand with pictures or written lessons alone. Teachers can either borrow the model itself and incorporate it into their lesson plans, or a member of Eco AmeriCorp or one of CRC’s River Stewards can make presentations at schools or other educational events. /community.
“We recently brought the EnviroScape to the Vermont Wildlife Festival,” says Alden Dumas, an AmeriCorps ECO member serving CRC, which focuses on outreach and community engagement. He adds, “It was a really great tool for teaching kids about watershed conservation. Lots of kids would come to our table and ask questions, and it was helpful to have something dynamic and tangible to address their curiosities – it keeps them engaged and gives us a great opportunity to convey that information without losing their interest.
Kathy Urffer, CRC’s River Steward in Vermont, continues, “It’s valuable for us as an organization, or anyone who teaches or explains environmental issues, to use this tool to connect with community members. around these concepts. Many of the students and families we engage with fish, swim or paddle our rivers; the community learns about our waterways in different ways. This tool is really useful as it explains how our surface waters are polluted and helps illustrate the work being done to protect and restore our rivers and streams.
Kate Buckman, the steward of the river in New Hampshire, agrees: “Having a physical model to interact with can really enhance understanding of how our actions as humans can influence what happens in our rivers, in both negative and positive ways, simplifying complex concepts into something more visual, tactile and hopefully easy to remember.
Any teacher or school interested in borrowing the EnviroScape model or having a presentation made at their school should contact the CRC at [email protected].