This week at camp, the kids followed the journey of the South Platte River and it's tributaries from its origin all the way to the gulf of Mexico. Throughout the week, the kids had a blast working on a project each day- making a model of Denver's own watershed. Teams worked together to make a landscape, mountains, rivers and creeks, plants, animals, and buildings and cities! The end products turned out great.
Monday was all about watersheds. Campers learned what watersheds are, how they work, and where we in Denver get our water from. We even made models of the transmountain diversion and learned our watershed address.
Tuesday's focus was on the river in the city. We learned how Denver's water gets cleaned, and where it goes after- back into the South Platte! We experimented with purifying our own water, caught critters in the water, and even helped clean up around the river!
On Wednesday we zoomed in on the River and took a look at the aquatic macroinvertebrates living beneath the water's surface. We caught crawdads, clams, dragonfly nymphs, damselfly larva, scuds, water boatmen, and more! We learned that all of these animals are indicator species. We can tell how healthy the river is by what creatures are living in it- turns out, the river is doing great! Another way to test the health of the river is to check on the abiotic, nonliving, factors such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and pH.
Crawdads were the catch of the day on Thursday! We learned all about their adaptations, anatomy, what they eat, where they live, and more! And of course we got to go to the river and try to catch some!
Then, we had fish Friday! The campers at HQ camp got an extra special treat and got to learn to fish with students from ELK (Environmental Learning for Kids).