Case Study: Wetland Exploration Contest
In May 2001, the Rochester Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America hosted a wetland exploration contest for high school students on its property near Rochester, Minnesota to celebrate American Wetlands Month. Fifteen area high schools sent two four-person teams to explore the wetland on the chapter property. Each team visited stations within the wetland and conducted hands-on activities to determine information such as the type of wetland, the soil characteristics, and the potential functions and values of the wetland. Teams completed worksheets for each activity. Wetland professionals scored worksheets. Monetary prizes were awarded to the schools with the teams placing first through third.
Contest materials and activities for this wetland exploration contest were based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetland delineation manual. Other publications that could be used for this type of contest include the wetland monitoring data forms in the Izaak Walton League’s Handbook for Wetlands Conservation and Sustainability or other activities listed in Watershed Stewardship Resources. Younger students can also modify this activity for use by using a wetland scavenger hunt. Younger students would search for items in the wetland from a list developed by adults familiar with the site and would get points for each item checked off the list.