Workshop to focus on teaching next generation to care for rivers and watersheds

‘Youth Water Education Resources and Wisconsin’s Public Lands’ will be held in Amherst Junction on July 19-20

Contact Derek Strohl, 414-297-4416, derek_strohl@blm.gov or Kris Stepenuck, 608-265-3887, kris.stepenuck@ces.uwex.edu

Madison, Wis.–Land managers, educators and youth leaders with the goal of encouraging young people to learn about Wisconsin’s streams and riparian areas will gather for a two-day workshop on “Youth Water Education Resources and Wisconsin’s Public Lands” at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station at Amherst Junction on July 19-20.

The workshop will focus on showing participants how to use a new educational program titled “Holding onto the Green Zone: A Youth Program for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas.” In addition to the new curriculum, participants will receive resources from the state’s Water Action Volunteers stream monitoring program.

“Holding onto the Green Zone” was developed as part of the Youth Riparian Initiative, a partnership between the UW-Extension Environmental Resources Center and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in response to land managers’ call for a youth-oriented educational curriculum about riparian areas–the lands near or along riverbanks. The curriculum also meets the need for hands-on instruction about watershed issues that includes perspectives from different fields of study.

The Environmental Resources Center took the lead in developing the curriculum, with production and financial assistance from the BLM Division of Education, Interpretation and Partnerships, and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Managing a watershed is always a team effort according to Derek Strohl, Natural Resources Specialist at the BLM Milwaukee Field Office. “We want to encourage people to use the BLM lands to participate in water quality monitoring, invasive species detection and other sorts of watershed education opportunities that already abound in Wisconsin.”

Strohl stated that “It is critical for us, with only a small staff in the Midwest, to foster partnerships with UW-Extension, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and local organizations to play our part in teaching the next generation how to care for our rivers and watersheds.”

Registration for the workshop is due by July 2. Registration information is available at http://watermonitoring.uwex.edu/pdf/level1/events/July_wksp_reg_2010.pdf

Call the Bureau of Land Management at 414-297-4416 or email derek_strohl@blm.gov for more informaiton.

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