Loveland High School’s River Watch program is directed by science teacher Darlene Halvorsen. She has been involved in River Watch for 12 years, leading her afterschool club in sampling and testing.
Typically the Loveland High School River Watch group is composed of about 15 students per year. She explains the popularity of her program by: “I think most of my students LOVE the time at the river and then the time getting to do the testing. They love exploring the river, the wildlife, the bugs and fish, the changes in the water level, the changes in the look of the water, and the river clean-ups.”
Halvorsen has each student go through a special certification process where they have to perform all tests 3 times each before they are considered “certified” and trusted in the future to do the test. Once a student has been certified, they receive their official River Watch certification, letter for the club and t-shirt.
Halvorsen says that the program “is a perfect outlet for students who are interested in the environment. My River Watch club not only does our water testing for CPW but we have adopted a section of the river for river clean-ups three times per year, we run the school recycling program, we hike and picnic, we make environmental display booths at school, and we try to get involved in some earth-friendly projects throughout the year. It's all about caring for our watershed.” She says a lot of her students go on to study environmental science in college which makes her feel as though she is making a difference.
Her advice to all of you new River Watch teachers out there? “Hang in there while you get students interested and trained. It is rather a long process to get up and running. Also, I have an assistant teacher who helps me now, Sarah Bucko. She is wonderful and it is so nice to share the workload.”
Thank you, to the Loveland High School volunteers. River Watch appreciates your commitment to the program.