Watershed Kits for Loan From Many Local Libraries

By Lisa Halvorsen, UVM Extension
July 08, 2021

Interested in learning more about Lake Champlain and its watershed? You may not need to look any further than your local library.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant, in partnership with the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington and the Vermont Department of Libraries, has created two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) kits. Funding was provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

These kits are designed for use with the Watershed Explorer Challenge booklet, created by the Watershed Alliance, a Lake Champlain Sea Grant youth education program to increase awareness and knowledge of watershed issues. The kits feature hands-on science activities and field experiments to help families explore various watershed science topics.

Both kits are available for loan from 25 libraries throughout the Lake Champlain basin in New York and across Vermont. For a list of locations and to download a copy of the booklet, go to http://go.uvm.edu/wse-challenge.

The Watershed Model Kit will provide information and supplies needed to build a working model of the Lake Champlain watershed and conduct field experiments on water movement through a watershed. Other activities focus on things that impact the health of the basin, such as invasive species and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).

With the Watershed Explorer Kit families can use scientific methods and equipment to conduct water quality field assessments, including sampling benthic macroinvertebrates to learn how to become a stream scientist. 

Kate Belluche, Fletcher Free Library Youth Services library assistant, coordinated the project, with help from Ashley Eaton, University of Vermont (UVM) watershed and lake education coordinator, and Jonathan Clark, Vermont Department of Libraries Children and Teen Services library consultant.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant is a partnership of UVM Extension, the State University of New York Plattsburgh and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Learn more on the Lake Champlain Sea Grant website.