On Wednesday, October 9 Trout Unlimited, in partnership with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, hosted the 2013 NY Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Teacher Conference.
The conference was a big hit! Approximately 120 TIC teachers and friends attended the event at Bear Mountain State Park. Here TIC teachers from NYC, the NYC watersheds, and across the southern NY area attended a series of workshops, including a tank care and maintenance session led by John Fischer, the TIC Coordinator for the Long Island Chapter of TU; fly-casting demonstrations hosted by members from the NYC, Art Flick, and Croton Watershed Chapters of TU; and “Exploring Nature through Poetry” led by poet Rich Parisio. Teacher-led workshops included “Fish Ladders” by Andrew Mittiga from the Young Women’s Leadership of Harlem High School, “Trout: An Integrated Documentary” by Josh Platt from Woodstock Day School, and “Fish Population and Proportional Reasoning” by Nathan Afield and Suzanna Sellars from The Green School.
The highlight of the conference was our guest speaker Dr. Eric Sanderson, Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Sanderson is an expert on species conservation planning. He is also the director of The Mannahatta Project, an effort to reconstruct the original ecology of Manhattan Island at the time of European discovery in the early seventeenth century, and author of “Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City.” Dr. Sanderson shared reconstructed historical maps which depicted the locations of trout streams in NYC before they were developed into what we know now as Wall Street and Broadway. The conference concluded with the distribution of trout eggs to TIC teachers. The eggs, which were graciously provided by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Debruce Hatchery, where carefully rationed out by John Anderson who is the Hatchery Manager. Teachers, who lined up with clean 12 ounce jars, padded coolers, and ice, each received up to 100 trout eggs to take back to their classrooms and house in chilled 55 gallon tanks.
All of our participating TIC teachers in attendance had a wonderful and refreshing day at Bear Mountain and seemed to be eager to get back to their schools to embark on this exciting eight-month trout raising journey with their students.