ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Backpack Adventure Program
Partnering with Two Mile Run County Park, and the Northern Allegheny Project, the VCD is pleased to kick off the Back Pack Adventure Educational Program. This program provides trail walkers with a loaded back pack to find environmental adventures on park trails. Packs are filled with field guides and equipment for environmental exploration. A trail was developed along the lakeside for guided educational walks. Several groups have taken advantage of the guided trail walk and we look forward to expanding the guided adventures as the program progresses through the years.
Elementary School Field Trips
Our home at Two Mile Run County Park has placed us in the perfect position to host watershed education programs for elementary school students. Area schools have been taking advantage of our programs to bring class field trips for a day of watershed education.
Classes visit us here at the park to learn about watersheds. They see demonstrations of macroinvertebrate life in streams, stream table demonstrations, and a lesson on the enviroscape. Students take a trip to the stream and learn to identify macros themselves.
Educational Geocaches on Two Mile Run County Park
We have recently hidden 6 caches in the park as part of our "Environmental Adventure" series. Each cache contains a card with interesting environmental information relating to the location where the cache was hidden. We provide the coordinates for Cache #1, but you must find it first in order to obtain the coordinates for Cache #2. Each Cache also contains a green ticket stub and the first individual to collect all six stubs and turn them into the VCD will win a free night at Two Mile Run campground. If you want to try this exciting environmental scavenger hunt but do not own a GPS, you can borrow one from the VCD. So, get out there and explore nature while learning valuable information about the Pennsylvania wilderness
The coordinates for Cache #1 are:
N 41° 28.736’
W 79° 45.444’
Non-Point Source Pollution Education
The VCD has a long history of providing education on non-point source pollution to people of all walks of life. Non-point source pollution is pollution that cannot be traced back to a single source. The EPA reports that over 50% of water quality impairment is caused by non-point source pollution. The VCD has created several programs to educate the public on non-point source pollution and how it can be prevented.
Stormwater can contribute to non-point source pollution. As rain water rushes off of roof tops, driveways, roads and parking lots, it picks up contaminates such as pesticides, spilled petroleum products and other pollutants. Stormwater carries these problems directly to our waterways. Even exposed soil can be picked up by stormwater and can cause pollution in our streams and rivers.
The use of a rain barrel can reduce stormwater run off in your backyard. The barrel collects rainwater as it runs off your rooftop, thereby reducing the amount of stormwater rushing from your property to your local watershed. If you are considering putting a rain barrel to good use, you may find the following links helpful.