Ikes Educate Creek Freaks
The Sioux Falls Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) hosted Webelos from Cub Scout Pack 582 for a Creek Freaks event in October to explore local waterways and riparian zones. Several chapter members had participated in an IWLA Creek Freaks training earlier this year.
At the start of the day, Sioux Falls Chapter members gave the Scouts an overview of the Creek Freaks project and how and why to test water quality. Then the Scouts and volunteers waded into an outlet of Lake Alvin, where they collected giant water bugs, diving beetles, damselflies, water boatmen, water striders, and aquatic worms. Certain stream-dwelling macroinvertebrates can be used as indicators of water quality, and this collection indicated that the water quality was “fair.” However, some bugs that could indicate cleaner water (e.g., stoneflies and mayflies) would not be found at this time of the year, so the Scouts plan to test the water quality again in the spring and compare the results.
Following bug collection, the Scouts picked up trash in the water and around the shoreline. They also had the opportunity to observe, identify, and talk about Big Bluestem prairie grass and why it is found on the Midwest plains.
Chapter members report that everyone learned a lot and had a great time. The Scouts were also able to meet requirements for their Naturalist and Outdoorsman badges through this project.
Want to recruit a few Creek Freaks in your community? Visit http://www.creekfreaks.net/ to get started today. If you are interested in scheduling a Creek Freaks training in 2012, e-mail IWLA Clean Water Program Director Leah Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.