IMG_3916Millcreek has a wonderful tradition of having Stream Days twice a year. On these days, every student learns to appreciate the stream that they have behind their school. By seeing the creatures that live there and exploring their school’s landscape, students discover why the health of water matters to everyone and everything and how they can help to keep water clean.

This year kindergarten through second grade went on a wildlife safari where they saw animals that used the stream, including ducks, minnows, and even some aquatic insects.  Third through fifth grade were in the gym due to weather. However, with the help of experiential education extraordinaire and Children’s Garden Education Coordinator at the Arboretum, Emma Trestor-Wilson, the creek was brought to them! They shifted through leaf packets and rocks to discover that a lot of creatures live at the bottom of stream! After that, students played a game with a parachute (remember the multi-colored parachute you used in gym class?) where they tried to clean the litter out of Millcreek and other pollutants out of larger bodies of water. It was wonderful to see students so engaged in an activity where they were practicing cleaning a stream!

The stream itself has gone through a major transformation. It began as nothing more than “eroding, urban ditch” but was restored to “improve water quality, create habitat for animals and aquatic life, and create a facility for environmental education,” according to the sign at Millcreek. This was a major effort put together by 17 agencies and businesses including Toyota, Kentucky Fish and Wild, Ecogro and more!

Millcreek continues to provide a wonderful opportunity for their students to get outside and appreciate nature! The students there truly have something special!  Not only do they have the stream, they have a committed staff.  This includes the teachers, especially Ms. Snowden, who organized the event, and Coach Parr who was so concerned about the litter we found at the creek from stormwater runoff that he led a group of students to do a litter clean up, and an administration that are committed to environmental education. Nice work, Millcreek!