About 700 fourth-graders from around Mobile County spent Friday morning learning about our state’s watersheds and waterways during the 11th annual Alabama Coastal Foundation Water Festival at Bishop State Community College.
“This is the grade level where they’re learning about watersheds and water in our environment, so it’s really important that the kids get to come out and have a good time learning about how to keep our rivers and lakes and watersheds and storm drains clean, because it directly aligns with everything they’re learning in fourth-grade science right now,” said Stephanie LeGrone, science supervisor for Mobile County Public Schools. “It’s a great way for the kids to come out and actually see and touch and feel and have a good time, be outdoors and learn from someone other than their teacher, which they always enjoy.”
Students participated in several different activities, including building a watershed, water filtration, a hydroelectric power presentation and a water relay, which teaches not only about conservation, but also teamwork.
“Our Mobile Bay Watershed covers approximately 65 percent of Alabama and even portions of Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee, so whatever happens up north makes its way down here,” said ACF Executive Director Mark Berte.
After the Festival, the students were treated to a raptor show by the Environmental Studies Center.
Joining ACF in sponsoring the event were the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System, Alabama Power and the Gulf Coast Conservation and Resource Council. A host of volunteers helped spread the lessons, including one who may have been familiar to the teachers and students – former MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek.
“Knowing the work of the Alabama Coastal Foundation, I wanted to get involved with them,” said Peek, who retired as Superintendent in June. “But the primary thing was getting involved with the students and getting to do things like teach that I haven’t been able to do in a number of years. It’s fun to be back with fourth-graders today.”