Hunter – Clyde Watershed Group
521 Conservation Class: Watershed Education Program
The Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group was formed in 1999 to conserve and restore the health of the Hunter River Watershed in North Central Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Our local watershed group is actively involved with educating students from schools by collaborating with other non-profit organizations, partners and stakeholders to provide students a hands-on approach through outdoor environmental education programs. The watershed group uses a range of monitoring, mitigation and rehabilitation techniques to target important project sites to enhance and restore the ecological balance of the Hunter River (River Clyde) Watershed.
This year, the Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group partnered with Mr. D’Arcy Flynn, a high school science teacher at Bluefield High School to introduce a Watershed Education Program to the 521 Conservation Class. This collaboration with Hunter-Clyde began in 2018 with the introduction of Atlantic salmon and Brook trout into the classroom with the Fish Friends Program in partnership with Abegweit Conservation Society and Central Queens Wildlife Federation.
Over the past few months, the students from the 521 Conservation Class had the opportunity to learn about non-profit watershed groups on the island and the environmental services it provides to urban and rural communities such as environment restoration, monitoring and research projects, community events, summer employment and volunteer opportunities. In addition, outdoor field trips were held at Bluefield High School, Brookvale and Hunter River involving winter mammal tracking, surveying land use, conducting physical and biological stream assessments, forestry techniques, identifying macro benthic invertebrates, water quality and flow measurements etc.
Through presentations, field trips, and science labs the students had the opportunity to experience and understand the ecological connections between the physical and biological components of the environment and how land use development activities affect our forests, rivers, and wildlife around us. In addition to the education component, this project was able to fund new field equipment and reading resources for the classroom:
– 12 x Ocean Waders
– 5 x Measuring Tapes
– 5 x Metre Sticks
– 4 x Clinometers
– 4 x Prisms
– 4 X Diameter Tapes
– 1 x Garmin GPS Unit
– 4 x Investigating Aquatic Ecosystems Textbook
– 5 x Technical Manual for Watershed Management on PEI
Our goal is to host the 521 Watershed Education Program for each semester going forward, in total providing 90 high school students per year within our rural communities the opportunity to have a better understanding of water, land use impacts, forests, birds, fish and other wildlife on Prince Edward Island. In addition, incorporate an Acadian Forest Enhancement Project and diversify the woodlot at Bluefield High School in partnership with Central Queens Wildlife Federation in the spring and fall semesters of 2019. We believe environmental awareness and hands on education for our youth is vital to our fish and wildlife populations as it provides them the knowledge to make sustainable choices for the future.