Alabama Water Watch (AWW) has been working with the Cary Woods Elementary School in environmental stewardship efforts for the past two years. Ms. Debbie Brooks, Principal of the Cary Woods School, applied for a grant under the Saugahatchee Watershed Management Plan, or SWaMP, an ADEM/EPA funded project directed by AWW that promotes environmental efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution of surface waters. Ms. Brooks has worked closely with Eric Reutebuch and Wendy Seesock, co-coordinators of the SWaMP project. Dr. Bill Deutsch is the project director, and director of the Alabama Water Watch Program, based in Upchurch Hall at Auburn University. With the grant, Cary Woods School was able to implement several environmental projects, including: 1) installation of a rain garden to intercept polluted stormwater runoff from surrounding lawns and parking lots, 2) installation of two large tanks to harvest rainwater from the school’s roof for use in outdoor watering of the lawns, shrubs and school garden plots, 3) renovation of the school’s nature trail, which leads down to a local stream behind the school, where the students conduct water quality and stream bioassessment exercises (with the aid of AWW personnel and a local citizen volunteer monitoring group, Save Our Saugahatchee), and 4) training Cary Woods teachers in the Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams curriculum for use in their science classrooms.
A video was produced by Tiger TV (a mass media program at Auburn High School in which students operate a television station) for the Auburn Community Channel (channel 16) by Jason Miller. Jason, a student at Auburn High School, produced the video under the direction of Elizabeth Antoine,Language Arts Instructor in the Auburn High School English Department.
For more information on the Cary Woods project, Respect, Replace and Restore- the 3 R’s of Cary Woods Elementary outdoor environment project- Educating all to preserve our environment- a school and community effort!, go to www.swamp.auburn.edu, and for information on the Alabama Water Watch Program, go to www.alabamawaterwatch.org.