Water Filtration Activity

via USDA Forest Service

This activity will show you how to use the scientific method to filter water.
*DO NOT drink any of the water in this experiment.*

Before you start this activity, come up with a statement of purpose and hypothesis.

  • Why is water filtration important?
  • What materials do you think will filter water the best? 

Supplies needed: Different size funnels, coffee filters or cheese cloth, sand, clean rocks, empty bottles, water with a little mud or dirt added.

  1. Set up your station with 3 cups/empty containers.
  2. Put a coffee filter inside of a funnel (try out which size works best) over each cup/empty container.
  3. Add sand to one, clean rocks to another and leave the last one empty.
  4. Try to filter the dirty water through each and discuss your findings.

Which one works the best? Did it match your hypothesis? Do you think plants would help filter it even more? What is the water cycle and which part of it is filtration related to?

Vocabulary: 

Riparian Buffer – an area next to a waterway that has natural plant growth.
Hypothesis – an educated guess followed by a scientific experiment to test it out.
Water Cycle describes how the water on Earth is always changing forms (solid, liquid, gas) and moving between Earth’s layers.

McAuliffe-Shepard Blog

Send us your photos at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.


Activity is open to all ages and meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence: Science. Activity can also be used in conjunction with Georgia Project WET activities.

  • S3L2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the effects of pollution (air, land, and water) and humans on the environment.
  • S4E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the water cycle.
  • S6E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to recognize the significant role of water in Earth processes.

 

Responsible Hunting and Fishing

Everyone can be environmental stewards and lead by example with responsible and ethical outdoor practices, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing. There are 3 main ways you can help:

  1. Take the GA DNR required Hunters Safety Course. After completion, you buy a Hunting/Fishing license to help support conservation and for data analysis of wildlife management (more info below).
  2. Properly dispose of animal remains and fishing tackle – NOT in a waterway. Many boat landings have receptacles specifically for plastic fishing line.
  3. Join the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program and donate wild game to families in need.

One of the best ways all of us can create a better public understanding of hunting and fishing is to create a better public awareness of the important role that hunters and anglers have played in conservation and improving our natural resources. Together with hunting and fishing license fees, federal aid programs have funded game animals and sport fish conservation, habitat acquisition and outdoor recreation opportunities both in Georgia and throughout the country.

– georgiawildlife.com

Licenses & Seasons

In the State of Georgia, a license is required to hunt and/or fish. You can buy an individual hunting or fishing license, or the combined Sportsman license. In general, licenses last one year from the date of purchase. View the options to choose the right one for you. 

It is now required to order a saltwater license (free addition) if you buy the Sportsman or fishing license, as well as a harvest record for hunting certain species.

Data collection helps with population control, wildlife management, reducing poaching and illegal activity, amongst many other reasons. If you see suspicious activity, report immediately to your local game warden.

Follow all hunting season guidelines. They are part of the responsible management of the species numbers and health, as well as for the safety of fellow hunters and fishers. 

In Georgia, deer hunting season begins September 10 (archery) and October 22 (firearms). Deer season Both end on January 8. Full list of season dates

Proper removal of hunted animals

Did you know that dumping animal remains in a waterway does more harm than good? By throwing remains in the waterway, it can create harmful bacteria buildup that hurts humans, animals, and plants. The parts left behind are not sought after by most fish or aquatic animals, or will take too long for them to break down, causing harmful bacteria during decay. It is best to either bury the entrails and bones, or leave them on the land (away from roads) for vultures and other carrion to eat. Let’s thank nature’s garbage disposals for doing their jobs! 

More: Wild Game Processors in Georgia

Treats

Your dog loves venison more than you, I guarantee. Here’s a super simple and quick recipe for venison jerky for your furry friend. This will save you money on dog treats too!

David Turko, Macaulay Library

Other Important Dates:

Not sure if it’s for you but want to give hunting or fishing a try? September 24 is National Hunting and Fishing Day (no license required)!

Ever been intimidated by the prospect of outdoorsy-ness? Consider the Becoming Outdoors Woman (BOW) Conference at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (Waitlist only) in November. 

Also be sure to check out the calendar of ongoing related programs at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center.


Submit your photos and stories of responsible sportsmanship to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media @ogeecheeriverkeeper

Monarchs and Milkweed

In this activity, you will try out your detective skills by being a Biology Detective! Document your process with notes and photos. 

Visit your local library and look up monarch butterflies and milkweed plants. Get familiar with what they both look like, as well as the different species of milkweed. Monarchs have just recently been listed as an Endangered Species. Read about the journey of a Monarch butterfly during its lifetime. Some great resources to start with can be found on Monarchs Across Georgia (MAG).

Next, look up native milkweed species for Georgia. Once you know which species you’re looking for, contact local nurseries or botanical gardens in your area to see if they sell those species of milkweed. If you need help with this step, refer to the MAG Field Guide.

Egg-laying Monarch butterflies are in their second laying period of the year (April-May & August-September) so if you can buy native milkweed, plant some around your yard. You can then continue your detective skills by watching their eating habits, egg-laying, and look for a chrysalis.

Photo by Steven Smith

Keep their chrysalis safe by checking on it and making sure nothing is damaging it but do not move it once it has formed! Continue to watch until it hatches. If there is no available milkweed at nurseries near you, check your local botanical garden during their next plant sale -or- order seeds online from reputable sources and plan ahead for next year.

Fun Fact: Did you know that a cocoon is specific to a moth, while a chrysalis is specific to a butterfly?! Pupa and chrysalis have the same meaning: the transformation stage between the larva and the adult. Pupa can refer to a moth or butterfly.


Activity is open to all ages and meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence: 4-6th Grade Science. Activity can be adapted for older ages and still meet certain standards.

  • S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
  • S5L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to group organisms using scientific classification procedures.
  • S5L3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the parts of plant and animal cells.
  • S6E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to recognize the significant role of water in Earth processes.
  • S6E4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how the sun, land, and water affect climate and weather.

Additional Resources: Sign up for the Monarchs Across Georgia (MAG) Newsletter here: https://www.eealliance.org/the-chrysalis.html#!form/Chrysalis

Pollinators vs. Pollen-Haters

Do you have seasonal allergies? Does the cloud of yellow seem to follow you wherever you go during the spring and early summer? You’re not alone. Seasonal allergies are a pain for humans but we also need that pollen to survive — we all eat plants and animals that rely on pollinators.

In this activity, we will keep our pollinators in mind by practicing being a landscape designer using native plant species and pollinator-friendly elements! Use whatever art medium (drawing, painting, collage, etc.) you prefer to create your backyard or school garden design. You can come up with a design for any space regardless of where you live–urban gardening to backyard gardens to shaded woods and more!

And remember — lots of creatures can pollinators. We all know about bees and butterflies, but birds and bats are too! Anything that can brush up against plant pollen and spread it to another plant is a pollinator.

A bee enjoys Echinacea and Coreopsis / UGA College of AG & Env Sciences

Follow these steps to create your design:

  • Look at the shady/sunny areas where you live and make note if it’s in full sun, partial sun or shade throughout the day. If you decide to implement your design, check planting timelines for your region.
  • Look at the soil or ground. You may need pots or raised beds for your design if you’re in an urban area or if you have very rocky soil. If you plan to use the ground for your design, check the soil-is it sandy/clay/soft dirt?
  • Look up pollinator friendly plants based on your region.

So go eat some local honey to help with allergies and make those pollinators of all kinds happy and healthy!


Additional Resources: Upcoming event in ORK watershed!

Educator Workshop: Enhancing Your School Pollinator Garden
June 27-28, 2022, 8 am – 3 pm
$30/includes 1 year EEA Membership -or- Free for EEA Members


Activity is open to all ages and meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence: 4-6th Grade Science, Visual Arts. Activity can be adapted for older ages and still meet certain standards.

  • VA4.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes.
  • VA4.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two- dimensional art.
  • VA4.CR.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the safe and appropriate use of materials, tools, and equipment for a variety of artistic processes.
  • VA4.CN.2 Integrate information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of works of art.
  • VA5.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes.
  • VA5.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two- dimensional art.
  • VA5.CR.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the safe and appropriate use of materials, tools, and equipment for a variety of artistic processes.
  • VA5.CN.2 Integrate information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of works of art.
  • VA5.CN.3 Develop life skills through the study and production of art (e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication).
  • VA6.CR.2 Choose from a range of materials and/or methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan and create works of art.
  • VA6.CR.3 Engage in an array of processes, media, techniques, and/or technology through experimentation, practice, and persistence.
  • VA6.CN.2 Develop life skills through the study and production of art.
  • VA6.CN.3 Utilize a variety of resources to understand how artistic learning extends beyond the walls of the classroom.
  • S4E2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to model the effects of the position and motion of the Earth and the moon in relation to the sun as observed from the Earth.
  • S4E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to demonstrate the water cycle.
  • S4E4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to predict weather events and infer weather patterns using weather charts/maps and collected weather data.
  • S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
  • S5L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to group organisms using scientific classification procedures.
  • S5L3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the parts of plant and animal cells.
  • S6E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about current scientific views of the universe and how those views evolved.
  • S6E2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the effects of the relative positions of the sun, Earth, and moon.
  • S6E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to recognize the significant role of water in Earth processes.
  • S6E4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how the sun, land, and water affect climate and weather.

Birding Basics

Do you often see or hear birds but don’t know how to identify them? Birding is a safe outdoor activity, and you can use our custom birding bingo to get started! And be sure to come see us at UGA Aquarium for the World Migratory Bird Day celebration. 

More than just pretty animals, birds are an important part of the ecological system, including the Ogeechee River basin. Various species inhabit different layers of the food web — from birds that eat seeds and insects to the most expert hunting predators. They keep populations in check.

They also help spread seeds and pollen which is vital for plant growth. Maintaining a healthy environment for birds to thrive is crucial to the balance of ecosystems locally and globally.

Red-shouldered hawk. Photo by Chris S. Wood, Macauley Library

What is “birding”? 

Birding is the act of birdwatching for recreational, research, or citizen science reporting purposes. Also known as ‘birdwatching,’ it’s the observation of birds in their natural habitats as a hobby or an amateur activity.

Wood Storks. Photo by Mary Ellen Urbanski. Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

I see birds all the time, but I don’t know what I’m looking at. 

Learn what to look or listen for when birding starting with color, shape, flight pattern, body size, bill or beak shape, calls and more. 

Check out these sites for bird guides. 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Birdwatcher’s Digest

Rare birds in the ORK watershed

Northern parula on red twig. Photo by Dan Fein.

I’m enjoying this. How can I get better?

Consider purchasing a pair of binoculars (aka “bins”) and searching out local birding trails or sites. You might also join a local chapter of the Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to protecting birds and sharing resources for enthusiasts.

Audubon Society

Ogeechee Audubon Society

Coastal Georgia Audubon Society

Georgia Audubon Society

Birding trails in Georgia

Always follow the American Birding Association Code of Birding Ethics

American Goldfinch. Photo by Adam Jackson, Macauley Library.

I want to share some of the amazing things I’ve seen. Is there a way to do that?

Engage in citizen science. Download the eBird app for free. It’s a digital way to keep track of the birds you see or hear while birding. This type of citizen science reporting — the collection of scientific data by amateur scientists — benefits the people participating as well as researchers.

Read about Isaiah Scott, birding enthusiast and local student

Adult male Barn Owl. Photo by Shlomo Neuman, Audubon Photography Awards

ORK Birding Activity

  • Plan a birding trip in your backyard or neighborhood park, near a waterway or in a city greenspace.
  • Download eBird and record what you see/hear. If you aren’t sure how to ID a certain bird, you can search through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website by characteristics. 
  • Share your checklists with Ogeechee Riverkeeper through eBird by searching “Ogeechee Riverkeeper” or via ORK’s eBird profile

You may also share your findings and photos through email at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

Tag us on social media with your research adventures and use #ORKOutside.


This activity is compatible with Project Wild “Bird Song Survey” activity which is geared towards middle and high school students in science and environmental education. Birding in general can be a fun family/friends outing for all ages, abilities, and environments. 


Activity is open to all ages and meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence in science, ecology, environmental science, and zoology.

  • S3L2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the effects of pollution (air, land, and water) and humans on the environment.
  • S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
  • SEC3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to construct explanations of community interactions.
  • SB6. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to assess the theory of evolution.
  • SEC5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information on the impact of natural and anthropogenic activities on ecological systems.