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Is the Creek a Good Playground? By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver.

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Presentation on theme: "Is the Creek a Good Playground? By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is the Creek a Good Playground? By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver By Lauren Dean, Laura Englehart, Austin Kleon and Lia Silver

2 An interdisciplinary study on children and creeks CULTURAL How do children perceive creeks? How do children perceive creeks? What experiences do they have with creeks? What experiences do they have with creeks? What part do creeks play as a whole in childhood? What part do creeks play as a whole in childhood?

3 An interdisciplinary study on children and creeks SOCIAL What socio/economic/geographic factors bring children to creeks? What socio/economic/geographic factors bring children to creeks? How does education hinder/aid children’s perception of nature? How does education hinder/aid children’s perception of nature?

4 An interdisciplinary study on children and creeks NATURAL/SCIENTIFIC Testing of the area of Four Mile Creek at Hueston Woods where children interact with water Testing of the area of Four Mile Creek at Hueston Woods where children interact with water Are the nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, and bacteria levels harmful to children? Are the nitrogen, phosphorus, pH, and bacteria levels harmful to children?

5 Interview with Sharon Edwards at Marshall Elementary Creator of the Environmental Mobile Unit Creator of the Environmental Mobile Unit Goal is to create concern, interest, and awareness about the environment Goal is to create concern, interest, and awareness about the environment

6 Interview with Sharon Edwards at Marshall Elementary 4 Steps to Environmental Education Raise awareness Raise awareness Knowledge Knowledge Skills Skills Values/Attitude Values/Attitude

7 Interview with Sharon Edwards at Marshall Elementary Why don’t kids play in the creek as often as they used to? Generational Differences Generational Differences Sheltered lifestyles Sheltered lifestyles Fear Factor Fear Factor

8 Environmental awareness peaks in the eighth grade… Environmental awareness peaks in the eighth grade…

9 Andy Farell, Naturalist at Hueston Woods Leads creek walks and fossil hunts in our testing locations Leads creek walks and fossil hunts in our testing locations Creek walks favorite activity in summer, very popular Creek walks favorite activity in summer, very popular Average 20 kids per walk are usually on vacation with parents at Hueston Woods Average 20 kids per walk are usually on vacation with parents at Hueston Woods

10 Andy Farell, Naturalist at Hueston Woods Catch snakes, turn over rocks Catch snakes, turn over rocks Nature becomes alive only when children interact with it Nature becomes alive only when children interact with it Discovery / Adventure Discovery / Adventure Muddy and Wet Muddy and Wet

11 PWEEP Observations in Pfeffer Park We observed third graders during an educational field trip to Collins Run as part of the PWEEP program. We observed third graders during an educational field trip to Collins Run as part of the PWEEP program.

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13 "Kids love water, it doesn't matter what kind."

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15 "This is fun! My dad would NEVER let me do this!"

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17 “Snake!” “Salamander!”

18 "My dad told me not to get my new shoes muddy."

19 “Can’t we just turn over one more rock before we go?”

20 Hueston Woods Water Testing Children are more likely to ingest water and are much more susceptible to pathogens in water Children are more likely to ingest water and are much more susceptible to pathogens in water

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22 Nitrogen and Phosphorus are nutrients that affect aquatic life and biodiversity. Excessive levels can have detrimental effects that harm the environment as a whole, making stream health poor and human recreation in the areas risky. Nitrogen and Phosphorus are nutrients that affect aquatic life and biodiversity. Excessive levels can have detrimental effects that harm the environment as a whole, making stream health poor and human recreation in the areas risky. Nitrogen / Phosphorus

23 pH / Bacteria pH is closely associated with health and well being because it is related to eye irritation and consequent infections. pH is closely associated with health and well being because it is related to eye irritation and consequent infections. Bacteria contamination can lead to water-borne diseases. Bacteria contamination can lead to water-borne diseases.

24 RESULTS Site Location Sample #Nitrogen (mg/L NO 3 ) PhosphoruspHBacteria (bacteria/ mL) Upstream >1000 Not Acceptable Upstream 23.3trace poor Beach >1000 Not Acceptable Beach poor Downstream poor Downstream poor

25 ANALYSIS Nitrogen levels are relatively high upstream and in the lake. We hypothesize that this is most likely due to agricultural runoff. Although the levels do not exceed drinking water standards, health concern is still warranted. Nitrogen levels are relatively high upstream and in the lake. We hypothesize that this is most likely due to agricultural runoff. Although the levels do not exceed drinking water standards, health concern is still warranted. Phosphorus levels are so low that they are unreadable. This is most likely due to the fact that phosphorus is the limiting nutrient in most ecosystems. Phosphorus levels are so low that they are unreadable. This is most likely due to the fact that phosphorus is the limiting nutrient in most ecosystems.

26 ANALYSIS pH was within the healthy range in the first samples taken. The second samples tested were slightly more basic than the healthy range calls for. However, due to the abundance of limestone, the 8.5 pH level is most likely caused naturally. These levels are relatively harmless. pH was within the healthy range in the first samples taken. The second samples tested were slightly more basic than the healthy range calls for. However, due to the abundance of limestone, the 8.5 pH level is most likely caused naturally. These levels are relatively harmless. Bacteria contamination was exceedingly high so as to be unacceptable or poor for every reading. Treatment is highly recommended and contact with the skin is a concern, especially when wounds or lacerations are present. Bacteria contamination was exceedingly high so as to be unacceptable or poor for every reading. Treatment is highly recommended and contact with the skin is a concern, especially when wounds or lacerations are present.

27 How healthy is the Hueston Woods Water for kids? Both nitrogen and bacteria levels were high enough to warrant more research and attention for the samples that we tested, especially these sites because they are designated areas for children. Both nitrogen and bacteria levels were high enough to warrant more research and attention for the samples that we tested, especially these sites because they are designated areas for children.

28 3 rd /4 th Graders at McGuffey Foundation School Discussion group with twenty 3 rd and 4 th graders Discussion group with twenty 3 rd and 4 th graders Private school / mostly priveleged children Private school / mostly priveleged children Half the class lived in areas with water nearby Half the class lived in areas with water nearby All of the class had been to Pfeffer Park and Hueston Woods All of the class had been to Pfeffer Park and Hueston Woods

29 3 rd /4 th Graders at McGuffey Foundation School Spring / Summertime play Catch tadpoles, fish, mudpuppies, minnows, crawdads Catch tadpoles, fish, mudpuppies, minnows, crawdads Skip rocks Skip rocks Lay in the hammock Lay in the hammock Canoe, kayak at camp Canoe, kayak at camp Bike, walk dogs Bike, walk dogs

30 3 rd /4 th Graders at McGuffey Foundation School Like to get muddy / wet Like to get muddy / wet Clear division between outside and inside play (hosing off shoes before entering house) Clear division between outside and inside play (hosing off shoes before entering house)

31 What if there were no creeks? Boredom Boredom Wouldn’t matter (bikes, sidewalks, dogs, friends, basketball, videogames) Wouldn’t matter (bikes, sidewalks, dogs, friends, basketball, videogames) March to congress / protest March to congress / protest “You would be like the dog that was chained up” “You would be like the dog that was chained up”

32 What would it be like to live in the city with no creeks? Travel to NY, Barcelona (beaches) Travel to NY, Barcelona (beaches) Suburbia (houses same, tiny backyards, boredom) Suburbia (houses same, tiny backyards, boredom) Couldn’t hear rushing water Couldn’t hear rushing water Couldn’t get muddy or dirty Couldn’t get muddy or dirty

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46 CONCLUSION/SYNTHESIS Creeks ARE relevant and important to the lives of today’s children Creeks ARE relevant and important to the lives of today’s children Education and the facilitation of nature activities (both which depend greatly on economic/social/geographic status) are the most effective ways to bring children to creeks Education and the facilitation of nature activities (both which depend greatly on economic/social/geographic status) are the most effective ways to bring children to creeks Children can only benefit from the creek if it is a healthy physical environment in itself Children can only benefit from the creek if it is a healthy physical environment in itself


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