Letter from WEP Program Directors

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Telluride Institute Launches 2018 Summer Program.

Greetings to our Watershed Folks and those Beyond!

The Watershed Education Program (WEP) staff is finishing up a very successful season of spring 2018 programming with area schools. The educational highlights include STREAM-based trips (Science, Technology, Reading/Literacy, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics); focusing on the upper watershed, originating in the San Juan Mountains to the semi-desert country to the west.

WEP staff assisted the Norwood High School biology class with a study of riparian restoration in Cottonwood Creek, and a fish ecology comparative study of the San Miguel River and Leopard Creek with Norwood 7th grade students.

WEP led Paradox 3-5th students on a life zones exploration, from the semi-desert scrublands of Paradox Valley into the La Sal Mountains. Naturita 5th and 6th grade students joined WEP staff and an archaeologist on a two-day overnight archaeology tour of archaeological sites of ancient Anasazi and Utes.

Norwood 5th graders ventured on a three day renewable and nonrenewable energy trip, starting with a look at hydroelectric power at Bridal Veil and Ames Hydro Power Stations, touring the Norwood solar array, the Tristate Coal-fired Generation Station outside Nucla, a look at the history of uranium production at the Rimrocker Museum, a tour of the Naturita Community Library and its geothermally-heated, energy-efficient straw-bale building construction. Our final destination was a camp out and tour of the Latigo Wind Farm outside Monticello, Utah.

The season will end with a climate change-related tour with Norwood 6th graders, where they will meet with biologists to study indicators of climate change, including impacts on sage grouse, forest trees’ impact by beetles and drought, etc. WEP will lead Telluride 4th graders on a water use trip, where we will hike up to Mill Creek water treatment plant and also tour the wastewater treatment plant. Students have been studying how precious our water resource is and how it needs to be conserved and protected.

Join us this summer for the Valley Floor Living Classroom 2018 hikes, which will be geared for high school age to adults. There will be a different focus each month, starting with forest health on May 22, water quality on June 20, a fen study in July (date TBA), and a birding and wildlife hike on August 7.

On July 16, WEP and Wilkinson Public Library will be hosting our biannual Watershed Expedition Series event. Keep an eye out in the media and the www.tellurideinstitute.org web page for the guest presentations and more info.

Have a wonderful summer season!
The WEP Team

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