Stream Champions Reach Hundreds

Posted on: June 13th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Hope­ful­ly you met a “Catskill Stream Cham­pi­on” on a hik­ing trail last year. Catskill Stream Cham­pi­ons are 4‑H youth, aged 11–16, who deliv­ered com­mu­ni­ty pre­sen­ta­tions and reached hun­dreds through exhibits and direct edu­ca­tion about Catskill streams. The pro­gram pilot end­ed this spring.

CSC 4-H Witt

CCE Youth Edu­ca­tor Matthew Helf­frich and sev­er­al Catskill Stream Cham­pi­ons on an edu­ca­tion­al hike in the Slide Moun­tain Wilder­ness Area, 2017.

The Stream Cham­pi­ons com­plet­ed four edu­ca­tion­al hikes to learn more about streams and Leave No Trace prin­ci­ples. While on the hikes, they quizzed and inter­viewed oth­er hik­ers encoun­tered on trails. Quiz ques­tions test­ed hik­ers about their knowl­edge of Catskills streams. The youth found trail users they encoun­tered to be quite knowl­edge — cor­rect­ly answer­ing 63% of quiz ques­tions! One ques­tion not every­one got right was “What per­cent of NYC drink­ing water comes from Catskill streams?” (the cor­rect answer is about 90–95%).

The Stream Cham­pi­ons them­selves learned about streams. An eval­u­a­tion car­ried out by Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion edu­ca­tors found the Cham­pi­ons went from 44% right on a test about stream health to 91% right by pro­gram end.

CSC Career Panel

The pro­gram wrapped up with a career explo­ration day.

The Catskill Stream Cham­pi­ons project was orga­nized and deliv­ered by 4‑H Youth Edu­ca­tors at Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion (CCE) of Ulster Coun­ty. The projects was fund­ed through a grant from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram. Grant fund­ing is pro­vid­ed by the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Protection.