Diakon Wilderness Center students continue water-quality effort

Boiling Springs, Pa. (Thursday June 11, 2015)

Students from the Diakon Wilderness Center near Boiling Springs will soon expand efforts to assist regional water quality, thanks to a $4,940 grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

“This grant will allow us to continue our focus on environmental studies,” says Jason Brode, who oversees wilderness center programs. As part of the environmental-education project, “30 students from the region in grades seven through 12 will learn ways they can positively influence water quality in the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed by learning how to monitor stream quality and participating in a three-day residential field program in a remote part of the bay, as well as taking part in a one-day field trip to one or more of the foundation’s study centers.”

The students—who take part in wilderness center programs for at-risk youths, will research ways they can help to support water quality in the bay by identifying specific, measurable actions they can take daily to promote clean water in the region. An earlier state Department of Environmental Protection grant had initiated this type of wilderness center activity last school year.

As part of the new effort, students will learn how to monitor the stream that runs through the Diakon Wilderness Center campus. Dickinson’s College’s environmental studies department’s Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring program director and students will provide leadership and equipment for the on-site stream study. The effort will include chemical, visual, and biological assessments.

“This direct experience with the environment is used to promote student interest in preservation activities,” says Brode. “Environmental science class is held in the environment about which they are learning. The on-site experience will also help to demonstrate the effect of local actions on the bay’s ecosystem.”  

In addition to the Dickinson College program, partners in the effort include a science teacher from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit.

The grant period runs from Aug. 1 through June 15 of next year.

For further information, please contact:
William Swanger, M.A., APR
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
(717) 795-0308
E-mail: swangerb@diakon.org