Youth Education Day 2019
By Jessica Viccaro
Mountain Statesman Newspaper Staff Writer
TAYLOR COUNTY—Thanks for the work of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) Abandon Mine Lands, students were able to partake in a day of outdoor learning at a site that once had no sign of life.
Students at Grafton High School participated in the Second Annual Grafton High School/Save the Tygart Watershed Association (STTW) Field Day on Friday, October 12.
Around 80 students from the Grafton High School Science Department attended the Second Annual Irontown Science Field Day.
The field trip was held near the old Irontown bridge, three miles above Thornton, on the banks of 3-Fork Creek and Little Laurel Run.
The Science Field Day was sponsored by Save the Tygart Watershed Association and the Grafton High School Science Department.
During the day, students had the opportunity to visit eight outdoor learning centers that were located along the banks of Little Laurel Run.
At each center, there were volunteer instructors and various topics for students to learn about.
At one of the centers, students learned about the area mining history from Rodney Moore, retired O.S.M. Inspector, also they learned about the restoration of 3-Fork Creek from Paul Baker, executive director of Save the Tygart Watershed Association Inc.
Dave Houser, chairman and charter member of Fellowsville/Laurel Mountain Watershed
Association talked with students about the importance of citizen involvement in environmental issues.
At another station, students learned about chemical water testing and titrations with Ladd Williams, WV DEP Special Reclamation Analyst.
Martin Christ, WV DEP Watershed Improvement Branch, Northern WV Basin Coordinator was on hand to talk with students about macro-benthic walk and identification in Little Laurel Run.
Yet at another center, students enjoyed a botany walk and learned about native plant identification and uses with Lynn Jennings, retired Biology instructor and plant nursery owner teaching students.
Stan Jennings, President of Save the Tygart Watershed Association also had a center set up where he shared knowledge about Pre-Columbian Archaeology and Anthropology.