High schoolers get high-altitude look at watershed
May 12, 2016
EcoFlight's student program took to the air again this week.
Students from science classes at Yampah, Roaring Fork and Glenwood Springs high schools on Wednesday got a look at the big picture of what a watershed looks like from the cockpit of small airplanes as they flew over the Roaring Fork River watershed.
Christina Medved, watershed education director from Roaring Fork Conservancy, joined EcoFlight's educational discussion with the students about snowpack in the Elk Mountains, and how 30 million people downstream depend on water from the Colorado River for agriculture, recreation and domestic use.
"We saw so many little lakes and ponds, and where our water comes from." Carl Wright, a junior at Yampah High.
"We were surprised to see how much agriculture we have here, and how close it is. I didn't realize how much we had around here," said Bella Reiley, senior at Roaring Fork High.
EcoFlight uses small airplanes to educate students, scientists and stakeholders about conservation issues, and to inspire students to have a voice for their environment. The organization's mission overlaps with that of the Roaring Fork Conservancy, as Medved said: "Our mission is to inspire people to explore, value and protect our watershed. These are the next generation of decision-makers who will have to deal with these issues — water and growth — in the future, so why not educate them and show them firsthand how important this watershed is to us and those downstream?"
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"This is an amazing opportunity that the students have been looking forward to all year. They talked about watershed and conservation issues in their public lands management unit earlier in the year, and this is a great way for them to connect what they learned in the classroom with the bigger picture," said Brooke Bockelman, experiential programs manager at the Buddy Program.