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Water quality summit got students interacting with the Genesee River

May 29, 2018

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

About 40 students attended the Genesee River High School Water Quality Summit, working in groups to study environmental and human factors that affect the river.

The field trip was a collaboration between Allendale Columbia, World of Inquiry School and the Genesee RiverWatch, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting and celebrating the Genesee River and its tributaries.

Chris Widmaier is a teacher at World of Inquiry School and works with RiverWatch. He says this day is part of a pilot program to get more curriculum into schools focused on the Geneese River.

"For students in k-12 that live both in the city and outside of the city to learn more about the river and hopefully come to a point where they care about the river."

He says even if people don’t live directly next to the water, most in Monroe County are part of the Genesee River watershed, meaning their activities can still make an environmental impact.

Kelsey Lisi is a science teacher at Allendale Columbia.

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

"It’s great for the kids to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and be able to apply it. A lot of the testing techniques that we use, we actually need these fresh water samples and they’re ever changing, so it’s nice for them to see that immediate impact to the environment."

Allendale Student Alicia Strader says she is a fan of the program.

"I really liked the fact that I could explore a lot of places in my community."

Students studied a range of topics, from insect collection, to water sampling and human impact.

Funding for the event was provided through a grant from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.