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Ohio River Foundation to offer Student Conservation Leaders program at Pioneer Park, other locations

Building on the successful education programs it has offered since 2005, Ohio River Foundation (ORF) will offer the Student Conservation Leaders summer program in June.

Four week-long sessions will be offered at three different locations and sessions run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Participants will fish, hike, wade, sample, observe and engage in restoration activities in the Ohio River Watershed, developing their abilities in leadership, stewardship and conservation in the process.

The program includes lessons about macroinvertebrates, chemistry, fishing and mussels that ORF employs for its River Explorer and Mussels in the Classroom programs, along with a bevy of other hands-on ecological explorations. Under the guidance of ORF senior staff, students will learn what it takes to be an environmental steward and discover their power to lead their school and community towards conservation solutions.

“We’re thrilled to add this fun and challenging summer experience for high school students to our roster of program offerings,” said Evan Banzhaf, the program manager. “Students will end the week with improved science skills and a greater understanding of local and regional conservation issues.”

Ohio River Foundation (ORF) is dedicated to protecting and improving the water quality and ecology of the Ohio River and all waters in its 11-state watershed. ORF works towards these goals through environmental education and conservation activities that serve to inspire environmental stewardship for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future citizens.

Among the program locations are Pioneer Park in Covington, where students will explore Banklick Creek, a tributary of the Licking River.

Two other locations — Nisbet Park in Loveland, Ohio, and Avoca Park in Columbia Township, Ohio — will allow students to use the National Wild and Scenic Little Miami River for their exploration and learning.

Participation is open to students who will be entering tenth through 12th grade for the 2020-2021 school year.

Applications must be received online or in the mail by April 15. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by April 30.

The course fee of $160 (payable upon student acceptance) covers all instructional, travel and activity expenses, as well as an Ohio River Foundation T-shirt. Lunch and snacks are not included; participants must bring their own food and water each day.

Scholarships are available to students who need financial assistance.

Applications and additional information are available here.

In 2020, ORF celebrates its 20th anniversary of Ohio River watershed work. 

During its history, the nonprofit has reached 50,000 students with its freshwater education programs; restored and reconnected more than 200 miles of rivers; removed four dams; planted 6,000 trees; and removed more than 100,000 invasive plants.

Ohio River Foundation

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