Walker River Basin Works Days at Walker Lake
The Walker River Workday at Walker Lake proved a success as Mineral County 4th grade students gained hands-on experience in testing water quality of the lake, planting native seed, learned about tamarisk and most importantly learned about the Walker River Basin watershed including agriculture and water conservation.
The Walker River Basin Workday was made possible from funding provided by the Western Nevada Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) council as part of the Walker River Basin Project. Mineral County Commissioners approved a motion to accept the funding and run the funding through the county treasurer. The Walker River Basin work days are designed to explore water conservation, agriculture and educate students about the Walker River Basin watershed.
Students began the day with the Incredible Water Journey learning about the water cycle and the different types of water. They learned about glaziers, lakes, rivers, water in the soil, and many more aspects while making a water journey bracelet to remember the water cycle. In addition, students learned about how much water is on earth and where it is. They discussed the ocean, the ice (glaziers) and the amount of fresh water available to people. On Friday, in the class room, students discussed the aspects of the Walker River Basin including the location of Walker Lake and made their own Walker River Basin rain stick.
The highlight of the event was the water quality testing at Walker Lake. Mineral County High School students came and explained how they test the water quality of Walker Lake to the 4th grade students. Students then divided up into groups that were directed by sophomore high school chemistry students and tested total alkalinity, PH, nitrates, oxygen levels, and phosphates using water from Walker Lake. The high school students also documented the results and explained to the 4th graders what the results of the testing meant to them.
Lunch was provided and food was available for everyone. Students, after lunch, learned about tamarisk and the invasion of tamarisk on the north and south end of Walker Lake. A tamarisk plant was pulled apart and the different parts of the plant were discussed. After dismantling a tamarisk plant, the students learned how to plant native seed above the lake shoreline.
The day was a success and we would like to thank Mineral County School District for providing buses and bus drivers, 4th grade teachers for all their assistance and the time in the classroom, the Chemistry class at the high school, the Bureau of Land Management for use of the beach, local volunteers Tony Tipton and Patty Click for leading programs, Randy Emm and Jeff Barrow for cooking lunch and 4th grade parents for being a part of the work day.
We also would like to thank Dan Kaffer and Patty from Natural Resources Conservation Service and all Walker River Basin Work Day partners which include Chichester Ranch, Hunewill Ranch, FM Fulstone Ranch, Borsini Ranch, Walker River Paiute Tribe, Bureau of Land Management, Lyon County School District, Mason Valley and Smith Valley Conservation Districts, Mineral County, Mineral County School District, Mono Conservation District, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Mineral County.