Creating Interpretive Signage for the Kids Creek Watershed

In this video, we hear from some very bright and dedicated young citizen scientists working to share what they have learned about the Kids Creek Watershed and the Buffalo Ridge Trail in Garfield Township, near Traverse City.

Early this past spring, Nature Change joined an 8th grade science class walking out into the frigid wind, down the TART Trail and into the open park lands behind Traverse City West Middle School.

Huddling together at different points along the new trail, these young citizens scientists were out in the field to hear directly from natural resource experts about human impacts on the Kids Creek Watershed and the Buffalo Ridge area visible along the Tart Trail.

Tara DenHerder

Science teacher, Tara DenHerder guided her students on this voyage of discovery about the natural sciences and human impacts on our environment. And these students were charged with sharing what they learned through a community service project.

With a goal of creating permanent interpretive signage as lessons for the whole community, DenHerder asked the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative (GTSI) to help organize the project and provide access to experts.

GTSI Coordinator, Michelle Handke works with teachers and students throughout the area to connect them with opportunities for place-based learning. These projects include direct access to professionals involved in natural science fields.

Michelle Handke

Ultimately, the students divided into four groups to design and create four attractive, educational signs under the guidance of experts from Grand Traverse Conservation District, Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and the TART Trails.

This video is a tribute to the cooperation and collaboration between organizations to engage young citizen scientists in practical, place-based learning opportunities.

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