Vol 05 - SL2

December 2005 Hello again from“The Dragonfly Messenger” - we’ve been busy since our last newsletter and have so much to tell!

2005 Stream Assessment Workshops
This summer roughly 50 people took part in workshops held in Fredonia, Russell, and Dover. We were very excited by the diversity of people who attended – educators, private landowners, environmental group leaders, water consultant, engineers, public works managers, conservation district managers, watershed specialists, agency staff, and decision makers from all levels of government. Clearly there is widespread interest in this kind of professional development. These 2-day workshops are specifically designed to inspire and enable educators and water resource professionals to do some form of direct, on-the-ground stream surveying. Attendees explored several core stream assessment purposes including: short range TMDL quality planning and implementation, public outreach and education and long range watershed-scale planning. Hands-on stream assessments gave participants practical experience with a variety of sampling approaches. Facilitated discussions helped build the groups long-term vision of success and frame quantified shortterm actions such as stream assessments. Trainings are already being planned for the summer of 2006.

Streams are dynamic systems….
That change over time, according to the condition of the land around them.
-MidAmerica Regional Council

* KDHE now offers a CD of “Kansas Water in the Classroom” To get your copy, email nps@kdhe.state.ks.us * The Layman’s Guide to Kansas Water Terminology & Acronyms is now available for download at www.hwqp.org

•Every stream has two components: the water flowing through it and the land beneath and around it. Good stream corridor stewardship maintains the health of both components to enhance the strength, shape, and quality of a stream over time. •Many property owners may not realize that what they do on their land impacts neighborhoods, stream habitats and water quality downstream. The condition of land that surrounds streams directly affects property values, the health of the stream and the well-being and safety of citizens. •The Environmental Protection Agency lists sediment as the most common pollutant in rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. •Sediment is the loose sand, clay silt and other soil particles that settle at the bottom of a body of water. Sediment can come from soil erosion or from the decomposition of plants and animals. Wind, water, and ice help carry these particles to rivers, lakes and streams. (Continued on page 4)

* The Environmental Youth Awards are now accepting applications! www.epa.gov/
enviroed/awards.html

September 18 to October 18
….a biennial production of the Kansas StreamLink Program.
Kansas StreamLink is a project of the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance.

www.streamlink.org
412 E. 9th Street Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 840-0700 Fax: (785) 843-6080 streamlink@streamlink.org KVHA Staff Alison Reber, Executive Director Aimee Polson, Program Director Rachael Sudlow, Project Assistant Christine Boller, Project Assistant Gabe Iversen, Project Assistant Patty Graves, Intern

Board of Directors Dale Lambley, President Paul Liechti, Treasurer Jeff Neel, Secretary Will Boyer, At-Large VACANT, At-Large

Funding for KVHA Projects including Kansas StreamLink is currently provided by grants from the KS Dept. of Health & Environment and by the contributions of partners and program users.

KVHA is a federally recognized 501c(3) non-profit organization.

The fall sampling season was energized by World Water Monitoring Day, which many of our Streamteams participated in. This has been an annual event since 2003, when America’s Clean Water Foundation partnered with the International Water Association to make National Water Monitoring Day global. September 18 marked the beginning of the official testing window, which culminated in the big day, October 18. Over the month volunteers around the world were invited to participate and test four key indicators of water quality: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. The deadline to submit data was December 18. Hopefully 2005 will be By Gabe Iversen just as much of an international success as last year, which counted 50 participating countries and more than 6,500 monitoring sites worldwide. As of our newsletter print date Kansas had 184 sites registered, more than any other state!! Sites ranged all over the Kansas map and represented multiple watersheds, from Humboldt to Weskan, Dodge City to Chanute. KDHE spearheaded the move to get the word out, and StreamLink sent emails to all of our participants alerting them of the event. We had lots of positive responses from Streamteams all over Kansas who were planning on doing fieldwork in conjunction with this event. Check out data on the World Water Monitoring Day website, www.worldwatermonitoringday.org. Bulgaria, India, Singapore and Nigeria are just a few of the countries that posted testing results. The United States had the overwhelming majority of registered sites, 2,095. This event brings together concerned folks from around the globe and reminds everyone that regardless of our political or cultural boundaries, we all share this fluid resource and it requires an international effort to keep it clean! At the same time it also focuses on grassroots participation and raising the awareness that we each have an individual responsibility to take care of our water. What a great reason to go outside and play! Thanks to all of you who participated – let’s do it again next year!! Check out the World Water Monitoring Day website to get prepared for next year.

StreamLink’s Christine Boller demonstrates a kicknet for WWMD participants

Word on the Street:
Community Based Watershed Stewardship
-Travis Daneke, Staff

Lysle Sherwin addressed a room full of water quality professionals earlier this year. His topic was

Community Based Watershed Planning.* Sherwin was the
executive director of Loyalhanna Watershed Association in southwestern Pennsylvania for 24 years before being appointed the director of the Center for Watershed Stewardship. Throughout his presentation, he shared stories of his success in watershed projects by using capacity building strategies. The Maiden Creek Keystone Project in Berks and Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, was the first watershed stewardship plan undertaken by the Penn State Center for Watershed Stewardship. It was located in southeastern Pennsylvania near Reading in cooperation with a steering committee of more than 25 organizations. The Center for Watershed Stewardship (CWS) selected Maiden Creek out of 23 candidates to be the center's inaugural and award winning "Keystone Project." Its focus is similar to that of the Upper Wakarusa Watershed and Clinton Reservoir. The problem is related to an alarming input of non-point source pollution to the Maiden Creek watershed and Lake Ontelaunee, which also serves as the water supply for approximately 125,000 residents of the Reading area. The partnership between Penn State and the joint county watershed conservancies were able to develop a management plan to reduce non-point source pollution. Sherwin said: "Maiden Creek was an excellent choice for the first Keystone Project because Berks County Conservancy has solid working relationships with many key agencies and stakeholders. The partnerships immeasurably enhanced the project's outreach benefits and its educational value to the student team - our primary benchmarks of a successful Keystone Project." This project has brought together 25 municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. There are other private and non-profit stakeholders

that have also aided in collaboration of ideas to make this effort unified. Community based stewardships are the key to watershed management. The watershed came out on top with a state-of-the-art assessment of water supply. The project also formed two watershed organizations, as well as augmented cooperating in a groundwater protection among townships. To achieve the best results it is necessary to utilize all avenues available. A combination of public and private resources will steer a stewardship in the right direction in obtaining the Best Available Technology (BAT). School districts and universities are packed full of eager young minds that are willing to provide manpower for little more than the valued experience that employers crave. It is a win-win situation when the students are involved. Sherwin said that with the right leadership a community gains “Smarter students and a first-class watershed management plan.” Any opportunity for publicity that arises should be immediately seized for that is the meal ticket for any great project. Politics might trump science, but publicity will trump politics. *Mr. Sherwin was a speaker during the January 2005 Kansas ? Workshop in Topeka, Kansas

2005 Thank You’s
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Many different types of educational groups benefit from the technical and material resources StreamLink provides. Over the last few years the kinds of support requests we get have become more diverse as communities creatively embrace watershed education. Solid grant funding, good partnerships and your hard work have helped us keep pace with program needs. KDHE underwrote the bulk of our 2005 using Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 funds. These dollars have, among other things, provided for SL’s student gathering, trainings, onsite stream studies, festival support, sampling equipment, stream improvement projects, the SL website, our newsletters, and other incidentals along the way. This funding is precious for SL, Kansas water projects across Kansas, and water protection endeavors happening across our Nation. Our Basic Stream Assessment Workshops (SAWs) couldn’t have happened without additional financial assistance from the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) and KSU Citizen Science, and the generosity of The Watershed Institute and the Flint Hills RC&D. (Look for a SAWs article in this newsletter!) KDHE and EPA’s funding are your tax dollars at work so please always feel free to call upon us to help. EPA Region 7 awarded an Earth Day Grant to SL to help with Spring Mudscapes Festivals and to start formally documenting the activity. We hope to be able to continue this popular activity into the future. SL submitted a proposal to EPA for a Region 7 Environmental Education Grant for additional Mudscapes assistance. Partial 2006 funding will also be provided through our 319 grants. (For more information about Mudscapes see the Dec 2004 Dragonfly Messenger) Our 319 funding will continue into 2006. We are in the process of completing our 319 funding request for 2007. We are so thankful to have this financial support and are always humbled by everyone’s willingness to work together to make things happen.

We continue to be able to garner funding support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Watershed Management Section via CWA 319 allocations.

Current Topics:

By Sara Holmberg, KVHA Intern

Get ready for a ground-breaking new idea for Lawrence, headed to the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp. The Lawrence Hidden Valley Committee landed a grant to partially fund this new project. What project? A new, environmentally friendly, self-composting, handicap accessible toilet. Lawrence's Natural Breeze Inc. will be building the facility, which will closely resemble a storm shelter. Plastic barrels will store the waste underneath this concrete structure, and with a bit of sawdust, the human waste will be transformed into, well, compost. If you want to learn more about the topic of composting and recycling human waste, see a list of composting toilets worldwide, or just view some humorous cartoons, check out Joseph Jenkins' The Humanure Handbook. Author Joseph Jenkins has been a humanure composting practitioner and organic gardener for over 25 years. His book reveals numerous reasons why humanure should be constructively recycled, particularly to prevent water pollution, fertilize the soil, protect our decreasing water supplies, and enhance our health. Jenkins also gives detailed instructions on how to build your own Earth-friendly sawdust toilet for $25 or less. We hope you learned a bit more about a self-composting toilet, or at least learned where you can read about everything you ever wanted to know about the topic. Who knows, maybe this concept will become a necessity sooner than we think, not to mention that it would reduce the almost 4 trillion gallons of sewage effluent dumped into coastal waterways each year. For more info: http://www.joseph-jenkins.com/books_humanure.html http://jenkinspublishing.com/sawdustoilet.html

The Humanure Handbook,
by Joseph Jenkins
ISBN: 0964425831

Kansas Trails
Providing opportunities for all walks of life
Your local lake is not just a puddle of water; it’s a diverse site encompassing not only the lake, but also a whole range of uses. One often overlooked feature of most local lakes is their trails. The Kansas Trails Council was created in 1974 by hikers, bikers, runners, equestrians and paddlers seeking multiuse trails near Kansas’s water resources. This non-profit 501c3 group has been promoting Kansas’s trails for the last 31 years by creating and maintaining trails as well as providing resources and information about them. The Kansas Trails Council continues to develop new trails through grants that provide them with trail equipment, training and other resources. Current trails that they maintain are located at Clinton Lake, El Dorado Lake, Elk City Lake, Fall River Lake, Melvern Lake, Perry Lake, Toronto Lake and Tuttle Creek Lake. KTC works with the Army Corps of Engineers and KDWP to fund and facilitate these projects. Their website at www.kansastrailscouncil.org has more information on how to help and get involved in future projects on your local trails as well as information about your local trail.

A New Water Quality Project to Benefit Students and Kansas Communities
Water is one of the most valuable resources in the state of Kansas. Protecting the quality of water for future generations is a team effort. WaterLINK, a new statewide project, seeks to add capacity to this effort. The project, available to all 2- and 4-year institutions in Kansas, has been developed to improve water quality for surrounding communities. WaterLINK, funded by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, aims to infuse service learning in the college classroom. Christopher Lavergne, project coordinator, said partnering college students with community-groups is a great strategy in improving our state’s water resources. “The condition of water quality is a critical issue in Kansas,” Lavergne said. “We aim to create awareness of the problems and best management practices to solve them, while providing students with hands-on instruction that reinforces course objectives.” Service learning is a form of experiential education that enhances the teaching and learning experience. A key component is the drive to mutually benefit both the community and the student. The end result enhances students’ self-efficacy, provides a true mastery of course objectives, and builds interpersonal, teambuilding and leadership skills. The community benefits from exposure and access to campus resources, and services meeting community-identified needs, Lavergne said. WaterLINK will initially focus on high priority watersheds, as defined by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment. Projects may range from developing educational materials for producers and landowners on methods that reduce water contamination to stream testing and conducting community water education fairs. Mini-grants up to $5,000 are available to faculty on a competitive basis to support projects. The grants can be used towards instructional materials, project supplies and travel reimbursements. “We seek to work closely with KSU watershed specialists, county extension agents and conservation districts to make the right connections with communities,” Lavergne said. Lavergne holds a B.S. in agricultural communications from Kansas State University, and an M.S. in agricultural/extension education from Texas A&M University. He fosters communication between communities and colleges, matches community service needs with college resources and provides service-learning and water quality training. William Hargrove, executive director for Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment, collaborated with the Kansas Campus Compact in writing the KDHE grant that funds WaterLINK. Contact Chris at 532-2732, or lavergne@ksu.edu for more information. Project details and mini-grant applications can be found at www.ksu.edu/waterlink

Streams are dynamic systems…. (cont.)
•Sediment entering stormwater degrades the quality of water for drinking, wildlife and the land surrounding streams by increasing the potential for flooding and making the sedimentpolluted water become cloudy, which prevents natural vegetation from growing in water. •Sediment disrupts the natural food chain by destroying the habitat where the smallest stream organisms live and causing massive declines in fish populations. •Nutrients transported by sediment can activate blue-green algae that release toxins and can make swimmers sick. •Sediment increases the cost of treating drinking water and can result in odor tasting problems. YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE: •Leave some grass, avoid mowing within 10-25 feet from the edge of a stream. This will create a buffer
zone to minimize erosion and filter runoff. Plant native plants, grasses, trees and bushes.

•Become a stream steward, you can help by watching a stream, learning about its health & how to
improve it over time

•Contact your county conservation district to find out more

By Rachael Sudlow, Project Assistant If you’ve wandered towards the StreamLink site lately, you’d have noticed the constantly changing look. We’ve been working here and there on parts of the now monstrous site trying to add in new features for those interested in StreamLink’s projects.

StreamLink Logo bags available at the website SHOP

SHOP: The big addition has been the StreamLink SHOP, which is our
online market for the products we’ve been promoting and producing. Lynn Bycznski’s Exploring the Kaw Valley has become a classic guide to the local cultural and environmental aspects of the watershed. The shop also features our signature grey StreamLink logo shirts & heavy-duty canvas tote bags.

INTERACTION: A very recent feature we’ve been perfecting has
been the addition of online forms on our site. We’re working on creating interactive forms that allow teachers and participants doing a sampling to fill in their results online and electronically submit them, rather than having to mail in all their paperwork. Teachers should look for an email in the near future that provides them a link to the input page. We hope this will allow more classrooms to participate and encourage more testing results.

CUSTOM PAGES: Each Streamlink classroom has an online banner page, which essentially archives their entire past and present stream testing results, as well as any drawings or photographs that were submitted with the event. EVENTS: Our Events page is frequently updated with new happenings in the area, ranging from the Kaw Valley Eagles Day in January to the National River Rally in May. We try to add in links, emails and any contact information we can get. Look for future events, or email us if you’d like your event added! PROJECTS: After the many Mudscape tables and Stream Assessment Workshops we’ve done, we
had a massive pile of photos and writing for each. With those, we’ve compiled several pages outlining what happens at each event. Each page gives an inside look at the activities we’ve covered this year. Never heard of the Mudscapes? Check out the muddy communities that are built each time the student’s get their hands in. The web pages go over the basics of tools, setup, and what the participants get out of it.

ONLINE NEWSLETTERS: You get them in the mail, but we keep copies of each of our
newsletters, as well as our affiliates-KVHA and the Wakarusa Watershed. Online copies are available now through the StreamLink site. We also have a sign up form to get your name on the mailing list for any of the other newsletters.

BECOME A MEMBER: Want to get involved in any of our projects? Take the plunge and become a
StreamLink Member. Forms are all available online, as well as the Request for Assistance form, which will get you your very own member(s) of the StreamLink staff to help out at a future event.

www.streamlink.org

One of the original interns, Cody Szuwalski

KVHA’s Commitment to Interns
By Alison Reber, KVHA Executive Director

The interns are a critical part of StreamLink’s unique nature. They have abundant enthusiasm and allow us to maintain a creative team that blends veteran talent with new talent. KDWP was the initial internship funder, helping us hire Jeff Severin in 1999. It was with their assistance that the framework for the program was established. In 2000, the City of Lawrence funded an additional intern, followed by intern funding through EPA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Now after seven years we can look back and see the cumulative effect of this initially practical endeavor. Eighteen people have been a part of the program as either paid or volunteer interns. The initial intention of the internship opportunity remains the same - to help build the experience and knowledge base of those considering relevant careers. Coming to the program with diverse academic and practical backgrounds, the majority of our interns begin the program having completed bachelors degrees in the process of making graduate school decisions or are nontraditional students working through mid-life career changes. Typically interns are here for six (6) to 18 months and are a part of at least one field sampling season. They work along side full-time staff members and are assigned tasks based on their interests and abilities. This

List of Past and Present Interns:
Jeff Severin

Isabel Anheier Jeremy Frazell Cody Szuwalski Galen Worthington Mandi Chace Carey Maynard-Moody Sherri Fernkopf
includes fieldwork in diverse stream settings, public relations, teaching/public presentations, data basing, website maintenance, web research, and writing for a variety of purposes. By representing the organization at various meetings, interns establish professional relationships and develop a proficient operating knowledge of current environmental pressures affecting stream health &/or the interlacing environmental education processes in Kansas. We work very hard with our interns so that they leave the program with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in stream ecology or environmental education professions. Each intern to date has continued along a career or academic path that directly ties to his or her KVHA experiences. We are very proud of our interns and are pleased that we have been able to maintain this opportunity as an ongoing part of the StreamLink program.
(from left) Sarah Holmberg, Alison Reber, Meg Givens, Adam Dixon
Meg Givens-Sage works with girl scouts at Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp, June 2005

Mandy Rasmussen

Rachael Sudlow Kate Glanville Orrin Smith Meg Givens-Sage Prashant Patel Sara Holmberg Adam Dixon Patty Graves

Kansas StreamLink 412 E. 9th Street Lawrence, KS 66044-2629

www.streamlink.org

Window into a Kansas Stream...

Native fishtanks bring the stream to your classroom. However...you will need to contact your local KDWP Conservation officer for a permit application