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Growing Up in Colorado

By Erin Flaherty, Coal Ridge High School student
Published in Glenwood Springs Post Independent 12/15/2018

Growing up in Colorado was a dream for me as a little kid. Bountiful forests and streams to play in, mud cakes to make, stick weapons used to wage war against my older siblings. The outdoors were (and still are) a second home to me. My relationship with nature has matured from messing around with bugs to seeking a career protecting the outdoors. I joined a water quality testing group, Colorado River Watch, and participate in community activities outside. While it may be more complicated now, gathering data in the field still means I can splash in streams!

This past year I had the privilege to be part of the with the Youth Water Leadership Program’s Summit Leader Team to assemble the Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit, which took place on November 15. The side of me that is still a child was thrilled when we went rafting as a team, and the more “adult” side was equally excited to t…
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The Other Side of Science: My Experience With the Youth Water Leadership Program

By: Aidan Boyd, Coal Ridge High School Student
Published 12/14/18 as Letter to Editor in Aspen Daily News
Since I was a little kid, I’ve known I wanted to study the sciences. I always pictured myself in a lab coat, silently working away until I found a cure for cancer. I never understood the often gritty, behind-the-scenes jobs required for science to be useful. My freshman year I started on a simple citizen science project with my friends, collecting basic water quality data from Elk Creek for Colorado River Watch. I never thought about how this data could be used to educate or change the world. That is, until I was put into touch with Wild Rose Education’s Sarah Johnson and learned about the Youth Water Leadership Program.
The following year, 2017, my friends and I created an entire independent research project, educating a primarily up-valley audience about a New Castle stream and the issues that it faces. I had never really shared research outside of a school setting before, so it w…

A Reason To Think Deeper

By Will Hassel, Glenwood Springs Middle School Student

From the beginning of middle school, I have been involved in various teams and clubs that all have some connection to water. In 6th grade, half of the year was devoted to a unit on rivers. Nate Higginson, from the Middle Colorado Watershed Council took this opportunity to form a River Watch Club for Glenwood Springs Middle School. A couple of friends and I went out once a week to collect and analyze the water from streams near the school. The following year, I got to do a presentation at the first Youth Water Summit about Two Rivers Park and water quality there. I was interested in the program, so Rob Buirgy, the teacher who helped me with the presentation, gave me the information about the leader team.

I thought that the team would be composed of ten or so middle schoolers doing nothing and one adult that would do everything. I imagined that everything would be planned out, like a classroom lesson and that we would make minimal …

Student Voices Heard at Youth Water Summit

Originally Published Nov. 30, 2018 in The Sopris Sun
By Katia Meyer, Youth Water Leadership Program Intern

On November 15, students from all over the valley gathered at the Third Street Center for a day of water and river related presentations, speakers, short films, discussions, and fun during the Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit.

Middle and high school students, as well as college students, brought their call-to-action projects focused on local water and climate change issues to share with their peers and community leaders, policy makers, and decision makers. New this year was the addition of the “Opportunity Expo,” a career fair-like event during lunch, where students had the chance to connect with local organizations and learn about natural resource focused camps, apprenticeships, internships, and courses they can take advantage of during the summer and as undergraduate students.

Part of my role as the Program Intern was to be a member of the Summit Leader Team. We were charged w…