By Lauren Hahn, Communities at Oshkosh North 9th grader
The Communities 1 students from Oshkosh North Hight School (9th and 10th graders) recently culminated their Be a Water Hero project. This project focused on the importance of Lake Winnebago and the Fox Wolf Watershed. Students immersed themselves in the study of local water and storm water infrastructure by touring Lake Winnebago (with the help of On The Loos Cruises), hearing from local experts like John Ferris (City of Oshkosh), Ken Friedman (Southwest Rotary) and Kelly Reyer (Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance), and examining informational texts.
After investigating pollution types and how they make their way into our waters, students put together presentations for local 4th and 5th grade classrooms in order to share with them the importance of keeping our local watershed clean. Students also shared their learning with local radio and television news outlets. Besides building awareness, the Communities 9th and 10th graders served the community by adhering “medallions” on storm sewer inlets around the City of Oshkosh that remind people not to dump non-biodegradable or biodegradable materials in the storm water sewers.
Students hope their awareness campaign and service will act as small steps towards a cleaner Lake Winnebago so that recreation and health can continue to thrive in Oshkosh.
Citizens can help by taking the following actions so that our storm sewers and waters do not become impaired:
- DO bag up pet waste and put it in the trash.
- DO sweep leaves, grass, soil and fertilizer onto lawns from driveways and sidewalks.
- DO keep driveways and sidewalks clean.
- DO point downspouts towards gardens, lawns and rain barrels.
- DO dispose of cigarette butts, plastic bottles and other garbage appropriately.
- DO dispose of oils, soaps, chemicals, pesticides and other materials appropriately.
Communities is an interdisciplinary, project-based program at Oshkosh North High School which offers students a unique way to learn English, social studies, and leadership content and skills through community engagement.