Maryland Students Plant Trees to Help Trout in Big Hunting Creek

Students and Frederick County TIC coordinator Chuck Dinkel study insects found in the stream.

Students participating in TU’s Trout in the Classroom program in Frederick County, Maryland, recently planted trees along Big Hunting Creek in Catoctin Mountain Park. Anglers know Big Hunting Creek for its impressive wild brown trout population, a favorite of locals and American presidents. (Camp David is surrounded by Catoctin Mountain Park.)

The planting was paid for by Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge.  TU was one of the first organizations to receive a grant through the new program, which strives to improve local water quality, restore the Chesapeake Bay and increase environmental literacy through service learning projects.

TU recruited volunteers from four schools participating in TIC that were also close to the planting site.  50 students and parents helped over two days.  In addition to planting trees, students spent some time identifying aquatic macroinvertebrates gathered in the creek using leaf packs.

It was amazing to see how TIC turned on light bulbs for these students.  From their work in the classroom, all of them knew the recipe for trout survival—cold, clean water.  Outside the classroom, it was easy for them to connect how streamside forests help create the conditions for trout to survive in their natural environment.

--Kevin Anderson, Chesapeake Bay Land Protection Coordinator

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