4-H AWW Camp McDowell Workshop

4-H Students from Walker and Winston counties attended a water chemistry workshop in early October

On October 10th, AWW Staff – Sergio Ruiz Cordova, Rachel McGuire, and Sydney Smith – traveled to the beautiful Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, AL to conduct a Water Chemistry Monitoring workshop for Walker and Winston County students. We were amazed by how quickly the new youth monitors picked up the sampling techniques. These youth have a bright future ahead of them! 

Rachel uses the Enviroscape watershed model to demonstrate the impacts of point source and nonpoint source pollution.

We kicked off the workshop with a little background on the AWW Program, an introduction to watersheds and the types of pollutants that impact our waterbodies.

Sydney teaches the students about sources of pollution.

Learning new things in the classroom is always interesting, but hands-on activities and sampling definitely bring another exciting element to workshops. Luckily for us, there was a nearby pond we could access to practice sampling techniques.  

Sergio teaches the students how to test for total hardness and alkalinity.
Sergio demonstrates how to collect dissolved oxygen samples.
Students collect samples for the dissolved oxygen test.
Students test water samples to determine turbidity.

As luck would have it, Waterkeepers from all over the country had their annual retreat at Camp McDowell on the same days as our workshop! Nelson Brooke, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, was kind enough to spare a few minutes from his lunch to speak with the students. He discussed Alabama’s bountiful waters and aquatic biodiversity, and the importance of youth involvement in watershed stewardship. Nelson also talked about how students can begin careers in the aquatic sciences. Thank you, Nelson for speaking with the students!

Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Nelson Brooke, talks to the students during lunch about the importance of being involved in watershed stewardship and protecting Alabama’s waters. Many thanks to Nelson for taking a moment to speak to the students!

After the workshop, the staff had a little spare time to explore the wonderful, beautiful, Camp McDowell property and journey across the swinging bridge over Clear Creek

Swinging bridge over Clear Creek.
Sergio on the swinging bridge.
Canoe launch on Clear Creek, wish we had time for a float!
What a view! Clear Creek from the swinging bridge… would be beautiful to see when the tree colors change!