In late October, Earth Force held their workshop Keep It Clean – Neighborhood Environmental Trios, a federally funded program, at the Cañon City’s City Hall. Many people showed up, some from as far away as Salida. The purpose of the workshop was to train educators, students, and people involved in their communities on how to educate others on the importance of properly channeling, treating, and using stormwater. They emphasized school involvement because the research activity  could easily be turned into student projects.  The program started outside with a team-building and problem solving activity where we split into two teams and competed to see which one could dispose of the “toxic waste”.  Afterwards, we went back inside for an hour long lecture (which didn’t feel like an hour) to see examples of schools that are involved in gardening, community service, surveying waterways for macro-organisms, and changing legislation, all activities that were covered in the workshop. We measured the dissolved oxygen level, pH level, and identified macro-organisms in the irrigation channel behind the building (all of which showed signs of a healthy ecosystem). Collecting data was easy using the resources provided by KIC-NET.  The  workshop helped me understand the diverse ecosystem under water. I recommend more people attend wonderful community events like these to learn about properly dealing with stormwater or other environmental is in a positive setting. Links  to the “toxic waste” activity, and Earth Force are below if you would like to bring the program to your local area.

Image: KIC-NET workshop in Cañon  City