Monday, June 27, 2011

Lake Wallace and Belchertown Biodiversity in the News

Read what Dr. Houle has to say about the plans for the Foley Fields/Lake Wallace area, page B3 in the Weekend Gazette, Sat.-Sun., June 25-26, 2011
"Foley Field-Lake Wallace project moves forward", Around Belchertown, Amy Talit

Read about the Kid to Teen Ecomentors kickoff event, April 27, 2011 in the May 12 edition of the Belchertown Sentinel  ...  go to the flipbook in their archive

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors!!

Welcome to the first of its kind program in Belchertown!
Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors is a monthly after school program that partners elementary students with students from the Middle and High schools in an outdoor exploration.

**Info for KtT parents!!

Our mission is to begin to document the biodiversity of the Lake Wallace area.  Our other mission is to have a great time exploring the outdoors.  Our additional mission is to share our findings with the community of Belchertown, in fulfillment of the plan of the Belchertown Biodiversity ... Let's Get Outside!!  Toyota Tapestry grant program.*

On Wednesday, April 27, our kick-off event found us searching the Lake Wallace area, finding frogs, snakes, a turtle, and a variety of critters in the water ... including leeches!  See the May 11, 2011 Belchertown Sentinel for our article and lots of pictures.

Our planned May 24th event was cancelled due to threat of severe storms. ... so sad.

On Tuesday, June 14, we'll be examining the pond life more closely.  We'll scoop, sort, examine and sketch the great variety of creatures we find in the water.  Our plan is to try to understand the array of organisms that make up the great food web of a small lake.  We'll be doing our best sketching in hopes of producing a display for this Septembers' Belchertown Fair and to prepare for the "Beauty and Biodiversity of Belchertown" art exhibition at the Clapp Memorial Library currently in the planning stages.

**Kid-to-Teen parents:
1- In order for your child to attend, you must have gotten confirmation of your childs' registration on the KtT roster by email from MsLevy.
2- Also be sure your childs permission slip has arrived in MsLevy's hands by the morning of the day before the event (not the day of the event).  Deliver it to the high school to be absolutely sure.
3- Be sure to indicate if the KtT chaperones will be escorting your child from SRE or CHCS and to sign this portion on the permission slip.  BPS teachers will be at SRE and CHCS to ensure that the students are escorted safely from their school to the Teen Center at 3.
4- The session begins at 3 at the Teen Center.  Please sign your child in if you are bringing them to the Teen Center. 
5- The session ends at 5 at the Teen Center.  You must sign your child out - Elementary or High School!!
6- The session runs, rain or shine.  Thunderstorms can cancel the program.  Please be aware that any use of bug repellant will make it impossible for your child to directly handle any of the aquatic organisms, though they will be included in the sorting and sketching activities.  Sunscreen is recommended.

* We are extremely excited and honored to have been awarded this very prestigious grant.  The generous Tapestry program from Toyota has given $10,000 to the Belchertown Public Schools for the purpose of boosting the delivery of science education throughout the schools, preK-12.... that's $10,000 more than we'd have had for this purpose!  The core investigation of this program is tree measuring and mapping and a pond life survey in order to understand the dynamics of this very small, but productive, watershed.  Key program features are the Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors, field trips by classes in each of the Belchertown public schools, plus the partnering of Elementary and Middle/High school Teachers in the development and integration of outdoor exploration into their school year, as well as the practical aspects of planning field trips to Lake Wallace. 

Stay tuned for more.

Woodland Ecology: Pond Life

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates:  the key to water quality!
go to this site to boost your pond life identification skills

Virtual Pond Dip

Study up on and Quiz yourself on the following: 
1-Odonata:  dragonfly larva vs damselfly larva
2-Mayfly larva
3-Stonefly larva
4-Dobsonfly larva
5-Mosquito larva
8-Snail, mud or rams horn
9-Fingernail clam
10-Tadpole vs Salamander larva

6-Parmecium or Vorticella or Rotifer