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Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ FOR the River

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By Travis Wilson, Colorado Mountain College BA Sustainability 2019 Graduate
A problem I have seen in the field of sustainability is that though sustainability is indeed making strides in our society and is becoming more prevalent in the minds of people, I feel that it is not being addressed in enough education and teaching in a creative ways. For sustainable practices to be implemented within our society, our people must have a stronger understanding of its importance; and our youth could be the answer to the long-term preservation of our world. What is difficult about implementation is not just finding a way to relate this information to young people so that they understand how important this work is, but also relaying it in a format that is more relatable. Performing arts could be the solution!

Several studies have shown the positive effects that performing arts offer to communicate sustainability concepts in an academic setting ranging from nursing to language skills. This is a t…

Using Deliberation to Address the Challenges Faced by Our Nation’s Rivers

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By Jessy Stevenson, Wild Rose Education Intern, Spring 2019

When I was 18 months old, my parents snowshoed 32 miles into the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness where we spent the months of January through April living next to the South Fork of the Flathead River. I made the journey in a backpack on my mom’s back and spent that winter in a tipi with my parents and our two canine companions. Before I knew that rivers had names, I learned what it was like to fall asleep to the sound of rushing water. Before I understood how rivers shape our landscapes, they shaped experiences that would instill in me a deep love for wild places and eventually form my land ethic.

I spent the rest of my youth on a small homestead in rural, northwest Montana. Growing up surrounded by an abundance of natural resources meant that conflict was also abundant in our small community. My parents worked hard to protect the places they valued, but above all they taught my sister and I to listen. Listen to the land…

Understanding Water Restrictions in the Roaring Fork Valley

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By Katia Meyer, 2018 Youth Water Leadership Program Intern

I spent last summer working at a summer camp in Connecticut, where I experienced weekly thunderstorms that filled the nearby river so high that it often overflowed as it made its way towards the lake. This could not have been more different from what many people experienced this past summer with the Lake Christine Fire and drought induced water restrictions. When I returned to Colorado and heard these stories from my friends and neighbors, I was reminded of what a precious resource water is. I became curious as to whether or not water restrictions were an effective tool for mitigating the impact of drought on residents and the surrounding ecosystems, and this became the focus of my research project for the 2018 Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit. My main focus was identifying the differences in how each local town or city handles water restrictions. I was also curious about how residents view water restrictions and whether they…

Growing Up in Colorado

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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…

The Other Side of Science: My Experience With the Youth Water Leadership Program

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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

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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

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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…

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