Living Water and Beyond Workshops
The UNRBA, in partnership with the NC Division of Parks and Recreation (Eno River State Park and Falls Lake Recreation Area), and the City of Durham Stormwater Services, held 2 two-day Environmental Education Learning Experience (EELE) workshops in Durham. The workshops provided local teachers and others working with school-aged children the opportunity to learn about natural river systems, water quality monitoring, and the use of benthic macroinvertebrates species as indicators of stream health. Educators learned how to monitor several water quality parameters, including flow, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. In addition, participants learned how to identify certain classes of species that can be used to indicate overall stream health. On day one, participants monitored conditions in a "natural" stream, the Eno River. On day two, participants monitored conditions in an impacted stream, Ellerbe Creek. Participants then identified some probable causes of degradation, discussed cause and effect relationships, and learned strategies for sharing this information with young people. A copy of the workshop brochure is attached.
Educators received environmental education certification for completion of the workshop. Each attendee was provided a copy of the Eno State Park EELE, "Living Waters", a teacher's activity workbook. This workbook details the activities presented at the workshop and several additional activities for teaching young people about stream ecology, stream monitoring, and human impacts.
The overall response to the workshop was excellent. About 50 educators attended the workshops. Participation level was high. Several teachers mentioned that this was the best EELE workshop they had attended. The success of the workshop was due primarily to collaboration with the State Parks and the City of Durham. Giving workshop participants the opportunity to analyze both the Eno River and Ellerbe Creek put perspective on human impacts to water quality. In addition, the repetition of the monitoring methodologies helped participants to gain confidence using the techniques.
The Eno River State Park and the UNRBA have committed to conducting another Living Water and Beyond workshop in the Spring of 2004. Look for the announcement here!
Conservation Easement Workshops
The UNRBA and the NCWRP, in partnership with NC Cooperative Extension (NCSU, Wake County, and Person County) and the Triangle Land Conservancy, held 2 workshops for landowners in the Upper Neuse River Basin. The day-long workshops presented the information listed below.
- Conservation easements and natural areas (forestry, wetlands, riparian areas)
- Introduction to land trusts/monitoring and stewardship
- Legal aspects of creating a conservation easement
- Rights and responsibilities of landowners and conservation agencies
- Appraisal of conservation easements
- Estate planning/NC Conservation Tax Credit Program.
In addition, local landowners that have been through the process spoke with attendees about their experiences.
The workshops were held June 12 at the Wake County Agricultural Services building and June 13 in the Person County Office Building. The Wake County workshop attracted twenty-one landowners, local government staff, and organization staff. Twenty-five people attended the Person County workshop. Each attendee received resource packets with information about the workshop topics, basic information about conservation easements, and contact information for the various presenters and resource agencies.
The UNRBA will partner with the Durham County Farmland Preservation Trust Board to conduct a third workshop in Durham County in late October. This workshop is geared primarily toward farmers and rural landowners. The UNRBA has already committed Wetlands Restoration Program grant funds toward the creation of brochures to advertise the workshop.