TUSCARAWAS -- The first Mud Run Stream Keepers annual Watershed Improvement Science and Education (WISE) Day field trip was a huge success, according to Emily Ankney, Huff Run Watershed AmeriCorps member.

About 140 students from the Indian Valley Middle School sixth grade came to enjoy a fun day full of learning about the Mud Run Watershed and why it is important to do the work the Mud Run Stream Keepers do.

It was a beautiful sunny day and the students enjoyed getting outdoors. They went to four stations throughout the day. The stations consisted of a fish shocking demonstration, a macroinvertebrate (aquatic bug) demonstration, a tour of one of Mud Run's potential restoration sites with a water quality demonstration, and a game called macro-mayhem in which the students learn about pollution tolerance.

The feedback from the students and teachers was very positive, 35 out of 140 students said they enjoyed themselves at WISE day. A majority of the students said the only changes they would make to WISE day would be to add more stations to the day. One student was heard to say it was "Awesome."

Volunteers from the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Rural Action, and Mud Run stream Keepers members gave a total of 96 hours for the event. Funding for WISE Day was provided by the Muskingum Watershed Conservation District's Partners in Watershed Management Grant. A donation from the Tuscarawas VFW was given for the volunteer lunches and snacks served throughout the day.

The Mud Run Watershed Stream Keepers is a partnership to improve the quality of the watershed, rebuild the ecosystem, and better the community. The Mud Run Watershed, located in Warwick Township just south of New Philadelphia, is damaged as a result of the extensive unregulated coal mining in the area from the past.

The Mud Run Watershed's stream travels 7.8 miles and has a drainge area of neaely 10 miles. The water is orange as a result of the iron in the water from acid mine drainage.

The Stream Keepers understand the importance of educating the youth about the environment so that future generations will be able to live in a sustainable manner in their watersheds,

To learn more, contact Mud Run's AmeriCorps member, Emily Ankney, at emilya@ruralaction.org or visit www.facebook.com/mudrunwatershed for information.

The Mud Run Stream Keepers meetings take place at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month in the Warwick Township building/fire station at 397 East Ave., Tuscarawas.