Grantee: Kestrel Educational Adventures
Project Title: Millbrook Pond Wildlife Relocation and Study Project
Grant Type: ecoSolution
Students were thrilled to be spending most of the day outside collecting and analyzing data on the life of one of their nearby green spaces.
– a Kestrel Educational Adventures Official
Millbrook Pond has slowly been eutrophying over the past hundred years to the point where it is clogged with cattails and other submerged aquatic vegetation. The Town of Rockport had decided to dredge it in the fall of 2017. While this project is important to the health of the pond, it has the potential to cause the death of hundreds of native turtles, frogs, fish and other species – including many on the IUCN Endangered List. Kestrel Educational Adventures partnered with a local high school class to conduct a student-led rescue and service learning project to save as many lives as possible while learning as much as possible about the species being rescued.
Rockport High School students each engaged in a day of exciting data collection at Millbrook Pond in September. Small groups of students rotated through field stations, which included using high tech equipment to measure water quality, trapping fish, eels, and turtles for measurement and identification, and a general “bioblitz” of species identification in the green spaces and along the beach.
Continuous impact/Community engagement:
The students will be going back to Millbrook Pond this spring to collect follow up data. Now that the animals have been moved and the dredging work is complete, the students will look for fish and eels and turtles to find out whether any of those moved have been returned, and assess the impact of the dredging and recovery work.
Kestrel has retained all equipment purchased with the grant and will continue to make it accessible for not only the Rockport High but also other students to conduct similar meaningful projects on and around their own school campuses.