LRCC AmeriCorps Engage Local Students at Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest

On February 19th, Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forest (CRMF) was full of laughter, exploration, and curiosity as the Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) AmeriCorps members at Squam Lakes Association (SLA) hosted Plymouth Elementary School seventh grade students for a day of winter fun.

Various stations and activities were set up around the forest including winter water quality sampling, poetry writing and journaling, animal tracking, and tree identification. Throughout the day, students split up into groups and rotated between these stations run by the LRCC members.

At the water quality station, students took turns spinning an auger into the ice to create a hole to access lake water. They then used the integrated tube sampler to collect water samples to take back to the SLA water lab.

“The students were very enthusiastic about the importance of water quality sampling on Squam Lake and really enjoyed this activity,” said LRCC AmeriCorps member Kim Appleby.  

Students were also taken on a tour of the swamp walk at CRMF where kids searched for animal tracks and learned about the different wintering animals in the watershed.  Here, students were able to understand the connection between water quality, biodiversity, and a well-functioning ecosystem.

In addition, SLA’s Director of Education Leigh Ann Reynolds led students on a walk to identify trees seen along the trail. Here she helped facilitate an understanding of trees, shoreline habitat, and watershed health.  

During the final rotation LRCC members led students through a mindfulness activity called peacefulness on the pond. The goal of this station was to have students reflect on their natural surroundings. They examined natural objects closely to draw inspiration for writing and drawing.

“Overall, the day was a great success,” said Leigh Ann Reynolds. “The students remained engaged through the various hands-on activities, and it was a fun day for SLA and Plymouth Elementary School to partner for learning in a local outdoor environment.”

The Squam Lakes Association is dedicated to conserving for the public benefit the natural beauty, peaceful character and resources of the Squam Lakes Watershed. In collaboration with local and state partners the SLA promotes the protection, careful use and shared enjoyment of the lakes, mountains, forests, open spaces and wildlife of the Squam Lakes Region.