The Belgrade Lakes Watershed Education Initiative is a lake and watershed science environmental education program kickstarted in summer 2015. The goal of this initiative is to transform students’ watersheds into a classroom, thereby forming meaningful connections with watershed health and their lives out of school. We believe that watershed science can be taught in all subjects and through this effort, we will foster the next generation of stewards of the Belgrade Lakes watershed.
BRCA is currently partnered with:
-Messalonskee High School
-Messalonskee Middle School
-Mt. Blue High School
-the Kents Hill School
-Maine Lakes Society
Follow along with area students as they investigate water quality in the Belgrade Lakes watershed!
Colby College Lake Science Education Research Assistant Olivia Antczak
- Week 8: Macroinvertebrates and DronesThis week, we started off at Camp Tracy with activity on aquatic macroinvertebrates. First, I showed the campers pictures of some common macroinvertebrates we might see in the stream. I grouped these bugs based on their tolerance to pollution. Scientists can infer the health of a stream based on the presence of certain species. For … Continue reading "Week 8: Macroinvertebrates and Drones"
- Week 7: Invasive Aquatic Plants, CyanoScopeOn Monday at Camp Tracy, we did some activities about invasive aquatic plants in Maine. Some of the Belgrade Lakes have big problems with invasive plants, which can completely take over an area and drive out native plants. The lake that Camp Tracy is on, however, does not have any invasive aquatic plants inhabiting it. … Continue reading "Week 7: Invasive Aquatic Plants, CyanoScope"
- Week 6: Camp Tracy and Cyanobacteria MonitoringI started the week off at Camp Tracy with some activities on temperature stratification in the lakes. We discussed the mixing cycles that lakes go through during the four seasons. The campers acted out this cycle as a warm-up activity. Some campers wore bandannas and pretended to be warm, surface-depth water molecules in the summer. … Continue reading "Week 6: Camp Tracy and Cyanobacteria Monitoring"
- Week 5: Macroinvertebrates, Drones, and Water SamplingThis week started off at Camp Tracy with an activity on aquatic macroinvertebrates. These are bugs that live in the stream and can tell us about the water quality of the stream. Some aquatic macroinvertebrates have a low tolerance to polluted water, such as caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies. The presence of these in a stream … Continue reading "Week 5: Macroinvertebrates, Drones, and Water Sampling"
- Week 4: First Week at Camp TracyOn Sunday, I had a shift working at the Farmer’s Market. The Maine Lakes Resource Center hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday in the summer. All of the Colby interns take turns working inside the MLRC on Sundays to answer any questions people have as well as show visitors around our gallery and lab. I … Continue reading "Week 4: First Week at Camp Tracy"
- Week 3: Last Week of Preparing for Camp, Goldie LaunchThis week started off with a restoration project at Messalonskee High School. Matthew works with students at this school, among a few others, as the Education & Outreach Coordinator of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance. The students had their Day of Caring on Monday, which involves students choosing a community service project to work on … Continue reading "Week 3: Last Week of Preparing for Camp, Goldie Launch"
- Week 2: Getting Ready for Camp Tracy, Flying DronesIn order to get ready for the beginning of Camp Tracy, which starts in two weeks, I spent a lot of time in the BRCA office this week to work on lesson plans. I developed a lesson plan that will allow students to use scientific equipment to test different water quality parameters. I am excited … Continue reading "Week 2: Getting Ready for Camp Tracy, Flying Drones"
- Week 1: Lesson Planning, Drones and Water SamplingThis was a great first week of work for me because I got to develop my lesson plans for Camp Tracy but also got to spend some time outside working on the Water Quality Initiative. In the beginning of the week, I made my first environmental education lesson plan. It is an activity and discussion based … Continue reading "Week 1: Lesson Planning, Drones and Water Sampling"
Messalonskee High School’s Limnology Seminar
- Water QualityFrom September 27 to October 6, Mr. Podey’s limnology class learned about water quality. From experiments to outdoor activities and lab’s, the whole class had a great experience. One lab in particular called, “Water Filter lab,” was probably the best thing we did. Mr. Podey created a poisonous concoction of nasty water. Our objective was … More Water Quality
- MacroinvertebratesIn Lake Limnology, our class made Macroinvertebrate samplers, best known as the Hester-Dendy Collection plates. Each individual student made a sampler and put it in different locations to see if we could get different results. At the time when making these we had to find water. Well the problem was, the little streams around Messalonskee … More Macroinvertebrates
- Stream FormationIn Limnology with Mr. Podey and Mr. Leahey we observed the ways streams form on a table that shows it with accurate results. The table shows basic principles of river behavior, subtle channel morphology, and sediment transport processes. One of the principles we saw were that water bodies with current usually act as tributaries. This … More Stream Formation
Kents Hill School Environmental Studies
- It Takes a Village – Class Collaborations By Erika PenczerKents Hill School’s Fall 2017 Issues in Environmental Science Class is investigating how agriculture impacts water quality in local streams and lakes. Specifically, the 9-student class is doing fieldwork at the apple orchard, hayfield, and cornfield across the street, in local streams and in Torsey Pond. Before the end of the trimester, each student will … More It Takes a Village – Class Collaborations By Erika Penczer
- October 13, 2017: Comparative Analysis of Insect Damage in Apples from Conventionally Managed and Low Input Trees By Walter LangeOn Friday, October 13th, The Water Quality Class at Kents Hill school walked over to the Kents Hill orchard to continue our ongoing investigation of Water Quality and means of Pollution. Today, the class investigated the difference in quality between apples that were sprayed the standard range of Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides with those that … More October 13, 2017: Comparative Analysis of Insect Damage in Apples from Conventionally Managed and Low Input Trees By Walter Lange
- October 13, 2017: Insect Damage on Low Input and Conventionally Managed Apple Trees By Marc ThibodeauOn October 13, Kents Hill School’s Water Quality Collaboration class participated in a field study at farmer John’s apple orchard. The class examined the effects of insect and disease damage on apples. John had two groups of trees sectioned off for the class to pick apples from, low spray trees and conventionally managed trees. … More October 13, 2017: Insect Damage on Low Input and Conventionally Managed Apple Trees By Marc Thibodeau
Maine Watershed Education Collaborative
BRCA believes that all Maine students, not just those in the Belgrade Lakes watershed, are entitled to the same hands-on watershed science learning experience. In early 2016, BRCA partnered with Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed and 30 Mile River Watershed Association to begin the formation of the Maine Watershed Education Collaborative. Together, our 3 watershed associations cover almost 500 mi2 contiguous land, 29 towns and 12 school districts.
Currently, Maine freshwater education programs work in isolation, resulting in inefficiencies and lack of sharing of best practices. As the Maine Watershed Education Collaborative, we are working together to solve this problem by consolidating our separate watershed science curricula, aligning to Maine Learning Objectives and Next Generation Science Standards. This collaborative will not end with our three organizations, but will expand statewide to many more organizations who deliver watershed education to Maine students.
For more information, contact our Education & Outreach Coordinator: