Whitney Wurzel, Executive Director of New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, and Julia Gerwe, AmeriCorps volunteer, engaging Stream Team participants along Froman Creek at Nazareth.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s Office of Ecological Sustainability partnered with New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future this month to launch Stream Team, a program supported by the Nelson County 4-H program.

On Thursday, March 10, twenty youth – along with many parents, guardians, and families – from the Nelson County area visited Nazareth for the first of several Stream Team meetings.

Whitney Wurzel, Executive Director of New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, and Julia Gerwe, SCN AmeriCorps Volunteer, co-facilitated an introductory lesson on watersheds, educating young and old participants alike about what constitutes a watershed and to where our local waterways flow.

During the lesson, participants explored maps to discover Nazareth’s watershed, the Salt River Watershed; discussed sources of pollution that can end up in waterways; and participated in a demonstration using recycled materials to show how water flows in a watershed. The group then ventured outside to visit Froman Creek, where they collected observational data and looked for evidence of water movement.

Danielle Hagler, Nelson County Cooperative Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development, also attended the program and shared more information about other 4-H youth opportunities.

Children ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old attended the meeting and will continue their Stream Team membership into this spring and summer.

Many participants reported recognizing the importance of water and the need to protect local streams before this first meeting, and Whitney and Julia are excited to further develop their passion and empower them as ‘citizen scientists’ to monitor water quality on their own and protect streams where they live.

To learn more about watersheds and how to take action yourself through the Center for Watershed Protection, click here.

To view more photos from the first Stream Team meeting, click the photo below.