For the second year in a row, GreenVest had the opportunity to train summer camp counselors at Elks Camp Barrett on ways to incorporate the stream restoration project and its ecosystem into their summer camp programs. Camp Barrett hosts a variety of yearly camp programs for children and adults through spring, summer, and fall. Elks Camp Barrett is home to GreenVest’s Bacon Ridge Branch Stream Restoration Project.
The Bacon Ridge Branch Stream Restoration Project included the restoration of 17,970 linear feet of stream and associated riparian buffer, with construction completed in March 2020. The site is preserved under a 28-acre easement, meaning that the restored ecosystem is protected in perpetuity but can still be used for passive purposes such as hiking, birdwatching, fishing, and other similar activities, providing great recreational and educational opportunities for Elks Camp Barrett.
GreenVest Project Manager Laura Kelm led an educational program for Elks Camp Barrett counselors in June before camps began for the season. Laura’s primary lesson trained counselors on how to lead their campers through a stream study program, teaching them how to educate campers on stream ecology. Counselors used nets to collect organisms in the stream and then used guides to identify what they found. The group found and identified several small fish—including a redfin pickerel and a bluegill—and several types of macroinvertebrates. This is significant because it highlights the health and function of the restored ecosystem.
Laura led the counselors through a few additional activities on macroinvertebrates, beavers, and nature journaling. At the end of the training, the group walked to a newly built beaver lodge on site that they can show to campers – evidence of wildlife in action. GreenVest identified and restored this portion of Bacon Ridge Branch in support of providing environmental education initiatives for the next generation of stewards. We thank Elks Camp Barrett for their continued partnership in advancing this mission!