2012 Kids in the Creek - Haywood County, NC
Each year Haywood Waterways, the watershed group for the North Carolina portion of the Pigeon River, brings nearly every 8th grade student in Haywood County to the Pigeon River. During the course of the Kids in the Creek field trip, the students rotate through four statins – water chemistry, watershed health, fish sampling, and aquatic invertebrate sampling. The watershed is home to the endangered Appalachian elktoe mussel, leading to the Service’s commitment to this educational event for the past several years, specifically helping teach students about the diversity of life in the stream and the importance of the stream’s invertebrates, which includes not only mussels but also insects that form important parts of the stream food web and serve as indicators of stream health.

At the stream invertebrate station, the students collect animals, use simple keys to identify what they’ve caught, and reflect on what the number and diversity of their catch says about stream health.
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