This is the time of year when kids often reluctantly return from summer fun to school. A group of Michigan students got to spend part of a recent school day working and learning in a different kind of classroom.
The students are in a homeschool program, and last fall connected with Trout Unlimited to help with its Home Rivers Initiative on the Rogue River, choosing the project as their community service project.
“They responded to one of our stream insect monitoring events that they saw in the paper,” said Nicol DeMol, Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project manager. “They have 12 members in their group that have been assisting us throughout the project since the fall.”
The students, most of whom are from families who live in the Rogue River watershed, are part of a robotics team.
“When we work with them they come out for about four hours,” DeMol noted. “They have helped with stream insect monitoring, putting out temperature loggers into our coldwater streams, taking the training to become citizen monitors, cleaning up trash along the Rogue River and just started with the river habitat mapping.”
During their most recent outing, the students worked on Rum Creek, a Rogue tributary.
The students’ work will include stream habitat restoration and protection efforts.
“In the fall they will be involved in a project with us to fence out cattle from a stream and also install instream habitat,” DeMol noted. “Other groups of homeschool kids do community service like food pantries or Relay for Life.
“This group says that they have a unique community service that they love -- protecting and restoring their home waters.”