Watershed stewardship is a community effort. Clubs, classes, organizations, congregations, scouts groups, and businesses can check out these education tools to bring watershed education into existing programming and events. Contact VLAWMO to reserve a kit or display, and to learn how to present and use the materials for success. Use is restricted to venues within the VLAWMO watershed boundary.
The stormdrain clean-up kit is a great way for community groups and schools to participate in a watershed service project. Visit the service opportunities page for more information on this activity. VLAWMO will equip your group to clean-out stormdrains, promote the adopt-a-drain program to residents, and label drains with "dump no waste" markers to discourage illegal dumping.
Act out watershed issues and think like a water resource manager in this fun and interactive role play game. Participants follow a printed script that presents them with water dilemmas found in everyday life. Their decisions impact water quality (a bucket of water symbolizing a lake) for better or worse. Kit includes set-up and facilitation instructions, a list of props, and a discussion guide to summarize the activity.
Include the raindrop wheel at a booth or event to introduce the concept of land use and surface runoff. Each segment of the wheel is labeled with a land use cover (open water, parking lot, grass, etc). Segments reflect percentages of land use types in the VLAWMO watershed. Participants spin the wheel to find out where their "raindrop" will falls.
Be a field ecologist for a day with the macroinvertebrates sampling kit. Students gather specimens (dragonfly larvae, etc.) from a lake, channel, or wetland to identify them and analyze what they mean for water quality. Plan your event with VLAWMO staff to learn how to lead students in this activity and select a location for study. Visit the schools page for curriculum and more information about this activity.
Set up the pollutant bottles for an educational guessing game that runs itself. Each bottle illustrates a pollutant that comes from stormwater runoff. Participants guess what the pollutant is, then flip open the tab to read about it. Examples include chloride (salt), anti-freeze, cigarette butts, grass clippings, and pet waste. Brochures provided from VLAWMO to connect participants with action-based solutions to these water quality problems.
Lead sinkers are toxic to wildlife such as swans, loons, and eagles. This display helps spread the word on the issue and demonstrates non-lead alternatives with costs for each item. Our message is that fishing "swan safe" with non-lead gear is the responsible way to enjoy the outdoors. The laminated sign explaining the issue can be found here.
Set up the root display at an event or meeting to educate folks about the value of native plants to the watershed. Display stands 6' x 2.5', and folds into a 3' x 2.5' box for transportation. It weights 25 lbs.
Set up this display at your event for an easy educational game for all ages. Water drops (air hockey pucks) are provided for players to drop from the top to see what contaminants the drop can pick-up. A prize may be given for participants who achieve the "clean water" slot.
Help kids learn about the value of clean water in this easy magnetic fishing game. Kids use the toy fishing rods to "catch" a fish in the pond. Flip the fish over to see a photo of where that fish was caught - clean water or dirty water. Students can choose to keep that fish or try to catch another one from cleaner water.
Excess de-icer is a major threat to our water resources. When salt is absolutely needed, a proper spread pattern of 2-3" between the crystals spares excess and still works. Melted salt water disperses over the ice to fill the gaps. Set up this display to provide an example of a proper salt pattern and use the blank tray and salt cup for participants to practice. Signs help convey an overall approach to water-friendly winter maintenance.