Students at Southwest Open School took a productive field trip to the lower Dolores River on Monday.
As part of teacher Matt Robinson's Environmental Studies class seven students gathered at Bradfield Bridge to learn about river safety, leave no trace ethics, and water quality.
Dolores River Boating Advocates (DBA) participated in the event. Program Coordinator Lee-Ann Hill explained the students learned the process of collecting water samples at the organization's monitoring site.
"The data is sent to Colorado River Watch and is used for statewide river research," Hill said. "We collect water their every month for the data base, and this time the students had the opportunity to work with sampling."
DBA is kicking off their youth program this summer. The conservation and boating organization is scheduling several activities focusing on teaching young people river stewardship and ecology.
Clean-up is one aspect. Students and volunteers recently pulled a rusty car out of the river upstream of Dolores.
Later this year, students will participate in a tamarisk eradication project on the Dolores River Wilderness Study Area, between Big Gypsum Valley and Bedrock. The effort is in partnership with the Dolores River Restoration Project.
Students will use hand saws to cut down tamarisk, an invasive species that clogs shorelines, hogs water, and competes with native plants.
"The Dolores River is a really good classroom," Hill said. "We will be offering our youth program to more schools in the fall."
DBA is looking for volunteers to help monitor water at the Bradfield Bridge site. Training is provided. Contact Lee-Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org