May 15, 2019

SOCKids: Mount Jordan Middle School

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SOCKids Hike SOCKids Hike

On May 5th, Save Our Canyons took 120 8th graders from Mount Jordan Middle School on a tour of the Little Cottonwood Water Treatment Plant and for a hike on the Temple Quarry Trail. Part of what made taking out this group special was the fact that 40 of the 120 students who participated in the field trip had never been in the Wasatch Mountains, foothills or canyons before. Taking out a group with so many who were new to the Wasatch made it especially important to make sure that everyone got something out of this experience and took a valuable memory home with them. To effectively educate every single student, we split the group into two groups and sent one group to the treatment facility and another to the trail head. Once each group got to their location we then split the two groups into two more smaller groups making a total of four groups. While one group toured the treatment facility, the other small group did a watershed worksheet with Djinni, a SOC intern. The tour of the treatment facility was a huge hit. Students, chaperones and teachers enjoyed it and were able to learn about the treatment process to purify the water to make it drinkable. This purpose of the activity portion at the treatment plant was to help them learn to identify parts of a watershed area. After the large group that went to the trail head split into two groups, one went on a hike with volunteer extraordinaire Taylor and the other watched a watershed presentation and did an observation and scavenger hunt activity. During the presentation we discussed what a watershed area is, why ours is so important, watershed rules, other usages such as hydroelectric power and how they can protect the watershed. The purpose of the observation and scavenger hunt worksheets was to have the students connect with the environment that surrounds them, to learn about the watershed and to learn about the history of the area. Once both groups were finished with the location they were at, the two large groups swapped places. The group that went to the trail head then went to the treatment facility and vice versa.

It is a special moment when you witness a student learning something new, or making a connection between the Wasatch and themselves. Watching their faces light up with excitement gives us that same feeling knowing that they are finding their path to the Wasatch and are wanting to return. It is also amazing as you teach students rules about the Wasatch, how they focus on abiding those rules, and also tell strangers that they see on the trail. One of the parts of the SOCKids mission is to create new memories when they are young because it is our goal for these students to plant their roots in the Wasatch in hopes that they will continue to learn about this area, recreate it in and hopefully be a voice in keeping it beautiful and wild. I would like to thank Emily Draper from Mount Jordan Middle School who contacted SOC to set up this event and whose efforts were crucial to its success. I would also like to thank Annalee Munsey who works at the Little Cottonwood Treatment Plant for letting SOCKids tour the facility, Taylor Monney and Djinni Yancey for volunteering and everyone at Save Our Canyons for their support and help.

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