Components of and education and outreach program
The program for education and outreach consists of a two-pronged approach: informal education and training for adults, and more formal, curriculum-based education for students in kindergarten through high school.
Informal Education and Training for Adults
- Increase general awareness of the watershed and its issues
- Increase general awareness of and appreciation for the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the watershed.
- Provide education and information to municipalities throughout the watershed to support municipal implementation of the management plan.
- Familiarize residents with Best Land Management Practices (BMPs)to protect and enhance the resources of the White Clay Creek watershed.
- Inform residents and local officials of the latest research findings and recommendations for resource protection and water-quality improvement.
- Foster a sense of the watershed as a "community; instill a sense of watershed pride in residents and local officials.
- Provide residents with practical suggestions for their own domestic sites, including guidance in such areas as septic-system care, the use of swales, and landscaping for recharge and for control of invasive exotic plant species.
- Designate an Education and Outreach subcommittee to plan and oversee educational activities.
- Sponsor educational and information-disseminating activities throughout the watershed though appropriate media and events, including newspaper, radio, television, the Internet, maps, brochures, tours, festivals, special events, speakers bureau, environmental seminars and workshops.
- Publish a regular newsletter featuring articles and reports on resources, management activities, best management practices, etc.
Formal Education for Children and Youth (K - 12)
- Instill in children a sense of stewardship and pride in the White Clay Creek watershed.
- Arouse young people's interest in and curiosity about the resources of the White Clay Creek watershed.
- Provide children the means and opportunity to learn about the watershed in area schools.
- Create opportunities for children and young people to explore, enjoy and experience the White Clay Creek watershed.
- Incorporate material on watershed resources, issues and problems/solutions in the curricula of grades K-12.
- Organize school field trips designed to acquaint youngsters with watershed flora and fauna, history and ecological functions.
- Involve school groups in practical watershed management exercises such as plant and animal surveys, river cleanups and water quality monitoring.
- Provide "hands-on experience for all school children, while solving environmental problems associated with school yards and grounds.
- Work with teachers to develop "home stewardship projects in which students identify and resolve environmental problems in their own backyards.
- Work with school districts and teachers to design watershed-related curricula, projects, civic activities, contests and other educational and recreational activities that will instill in students a sense of pride in and stewardship for the White Clay Creek watershed.
A volunteer citizen program for regular stream cleanups should be initiated as part of the watershed's education and stewardship program. Such a program could be independent, or linked with adopt-a-highway or with stream water-quality monitoring programs. Technical assistance is available from PADEP, DNREC, NPS and other national organizations.