Multi-County Earth Day Educates Students

CLEARFIELD – Students from seven Central Pennsylvania counties converged on Parker Dam State Park Wednesday to learn about how to better care for the world around them.

Carey Huber, environmental education specialist with the Department of Conservation and Natural resources, said the goal is to bring out “a little bit of interest and I guess love for the outdoors.”

The students hailed from schools in Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk counties including DuBois High School, DuBois Central Catholic, Elk County Christian, St. Marys high and middle schools, Glendale and Punxsutawney.

They rotated in groups to seven stations, taking part in hands-on activities to learn about topics from fishing to logging to alternative energy vehicles.

“It’s a good cooperative effort,” said Huber.

Students from St. Marys gathered under a pavilion Wednesday afternoon to hear from Clearfield County Conservation District representatives Bob Edwards, nutrient management specialist; Rachel Kester, watershed specialist; and Carl Undercofler, associate director and member of the Senior Environmental Corps.

Before the group arrived, Edwards said the students seemed to enjoy the day’s activities despite rain that fell for most of the day.

“So far the kids have done pretty well,” he said.

Edwards demonstrated the premise that everyone lives downstream through a model that shows how wells and spring water could meet up with material leaching from underground tanks such as septic tanks and pollutants that are placed on the ground.

Kester and Undercofler showed the students how altering environmental factors along rivers and streams can have an impact.

Huber said this is the first year for the multi-county Earth Day event with students, but he is hopeful that it will become an annual event.

“It’s a good way to get them involved,” he said.

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