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Local News

June 5, 2014

Pine Lake Field Day to teach kids about watersheds

Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and students are invited to Pine Lake on Friday to learn about the area watershed at a free Field Day.

The Think, Act, Protect the Upper Susquehanna River (TAP-US) Field Day will be hosted by Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies, and will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m, according to a recent media release.

The goal of the event is to teach participants what watersheds are, why they are important, how they can be studied and what steps should be taken to protect and maintain them, the release said.

In particular, the event will seek to increase knowledge and understanding to protect and maintain the Upper Susquehanna River Basin and Chesapeake Bay watershed, of which Oneonta is part, according to Peter Blue, manager of operations at Pine Lake. The Susquehanna River Basin is one of the biggest in the country, he said. Its headwaters are in Cooperstown and it runs all the way to Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.

In south-central New York State, the Upper Susquehanna Basin is comprised of 94 sub-watersheds, encompassing 7,500 square miles. It contains 8,185 miles of rivers and streams and includes 130 lakes, ponds and reservoirs, according to Hartwick’s website.

 It’s vital for children, and adults, to learn about watersheds because they affect everyone, Blue said.

“Everyone lives in a watershed,” Blue said, “and everyone’s water goes somewhere. That’s important to remember.”

In 2012, Hartwick’s Pine Lake Institute received a three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a region-wide K-12 educational curriculum that would focus on meaningful watershed educational experiences. The watershed lessons meet the NY Common Core standards, said Tami LaPilusa, project director of TAP-US.

LaPilusa said the program will feature active, outside-the-classroom teaching and learning experiences that are engaging for students.

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