By Connie Hylton
(AT ICIMANI ADVENTURE CAMP of the Skyline Council)
BRFAL Naturalists Connie, Lee, Jean, De, and Shannon recently worked with Franklin County Service Unit Scouts (Daisies, Brownies, Junior and Cadet Girl Scouts) in a water activity.
About 50 Girl Scouts were camping May 17 and 18 at Icimani Adventure Camp along Back Creek in Roanoke County. On the 18th we were scheduled to provide a water habitat awareness activity for the groups. We planned for an in-water activity but had a rain contingency plan for the rainy forcast on that Saturday. Fortunately, the rain held off and we were able to let the Scouts get in the creek and use our Save Our Stream monitoring equipment to collect and observe macroinvertebrates from the stream and learn how the organisms use the stream as their habitat and also how they can indicate if the stream is healthy.
The Scouts enjoyed the opportunity to get in the stream and were excited to find the creatures we found.
Included in the pictures below is a picture (provided by one of the parents) of a Planarian (Flatworm) netted by the Junior and Cadet Scouts group. Planaria are not usually found in large numbers in area streams as they have a preference for water with less flow in the deeper still waters of streams and in ponds and lakes. Planaria are tolerant of pollution in streams and finding large numbers of them along with fewer intolerant species would be indicative of unhealthy conditions in streams.
If you are interested in the Virginia Master Naturalist Program and live in the land between the lakes, Bedford or Franklin County - please see the sidebar of this blog for more information on our next basic training in September!