KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Over 700 students from 29 classrooms in Kosciusko County participated in the Center for Lakes & Streams’ annual Lake Adventure Days Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22 and 23 at Lucerne Park and Winona Lake. The Center for Lakes & Streams partnered with local volunteers, local DNR officers, Grace College elementary education students, and the Grace College School of Education to make the event a success.
This year’s Lake Adventure Day event was organized by Caitlin Yoder, education coordinator for the Center for Lakes & Streams. Fourth graders from local elementary schools including Claypool, Harrison, Jefferson, Leesburg, Lincoln, Milford, North Webster, Syracuse and Warsaw Christian were in attendance over the two-day event.
Lake Adventure Days were open to fourth grade classrooms in Kosciusko County and provided attending students with a day of lake fun and education. Throughout the day, fourth graders rotated through stations at which they performed water testing, built their own mini-watersheds, competed in a water conservation exercise, completed a water-themed craft, and even went fishing in Pike or Winona Lake. Keira, a fourth grade student who attended Lake Adventure Day explained, “I learned how to take care of lakes and not pollute them.”
While over 100 lakes are located in Kosciusko County, this was the first time many of the students who attended have interacted with a local lake. Charlotte Jessie, a teacher at North Webster Elementary School, said of the event, “It teaches them how valuable our lakes are—there are over 100 lakes in the county and it gives them hands-on experience.” Jessie expressed that Lake Adventure Days also prepare her students for when the Center for Lakes & Streams installs an aquarium in her classroom with native fish species as part of the Classroom Lake Experience program.
The Center for Lakes & Streams will continue to provide lake education opportunities throughout the 2016-2017 school year. The center has aquariums in 24 local classrooms with fish and plant species like those found in local lakes and streams as part of their Classroom Lake Experience program. Additionally, the center is now selling 2017 Calendars depicting winning pieces of the annual Lakes & Streams Art Contest. Order forms can be found online at lakes.grace.edu.
Sponsors of the 2016 Lake Adventure Day event include Bart’s Water Sports, the City of Warsaw, Culver Family Foundation, DePuy, The Dekko Foundation, Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, The Papers, Warsaw Kiwanis, and Warsaw Optimist Club.
The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts applicable research, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with other organizations in efforts to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County cleaner. For more information or to support their efforts, visit online.