“The fish … eat the insects … on the leaves … that come from trees!” shouted children and their parents through the forest along White Clay Creek. Their excitement as they rehearsed the rhyme was echoed throughout the many educational games and activities Stroud™ Water Research Center coordinated during our December Trout Grow on Trees Family Day.
Tara Muenz, assistant director of education, began the unseasonably warm winter day by asking families to draw what comes to mind when first hearing that “trout grow on trees.” After a show-and-tell of the drawings, Muenz, along with Education Programs Assistant Libby Gregg, led the families on a hike and used the rhyme to help explain how trout grow on trees.
Trees are Key to Bringing Back the Brook Trout
Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a freshwater fish in the salmon family, once inhabited every cold water stream in the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the United States. But populations have dramatically declined during the past 200 years.
The removal of streamside forests has greatly contributed to this decline and habitat loss for the brook trout. Hence, the restoration of streamside forests is a way to improve water and habitat quality of streams and is a necessary prerequisite to help restore healthy trout populations.
An Environmental Education Program That Creates Enthusiasm
Stroud Water Research Center first launched the Trout Grow on Trees program in 2013 during a trout release day at Pocopson Elementary in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It has since received much interest and enthusiasm from teachers and students.
Designed to educate children of all ages about the importance of healthy forests, healthy streams, and healthy trout populations, Trout Grow on Trees easily complements ongoing Trout in the Classroom programs, tree-planting activities, and macroinvertebrate monitoring.
Want to know more about the Trout Grow on Trees curriculum? Visit the program website.
Join Us in April for Spring Family Days
Want to join us? Stay tuned to our events page, the Trout Grow on Trees website, and the Trout Grow on Trees Facebook page to find upcoming Spring Family Days, which will include tree plantings and trout releases in April!