Earth Month

We are calling on YOU to celebrate Earth Day with us the entire month of April! Come up with creative, fun and effective ways to better your environment and celebrate the Earth.

Here are some of the ways we are celebrating Earth Day :

  • Friday, April 8, you can find ORK at the Russell Union on GS Statesboro Campus as a part of Southern Sustainability week 
  • Saturday, April 16, ORK will be assisting with a private volunteer cleanup on the Vernon River with Asbury Memorial Church
  • Saturday, April 23, join our Earth Day community cleanup in the upper watershed
  • Monday, April 25, come join our public Don’t Litter Lotts Cleanup, in Statesboro
  • Saturday, April 30,  you can find us at Fire Festival at the Mary Kahrs Warnell Forest Education Center in Guyton
  • Saturday, April 30, we’ll be on the Canoochee River during our first members-only event of the year, alongside guides from Ft. Stewart, we’ll explore the Canoochee from kayaks and canoes.

If you visit us at any of these events, or celebrate Earth Month in some other way, send your photos to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media by April 30.

Water, I Love You

We all know that water equals life, so of course we love water! Put on your creativity cap and tell us *why* you love water. Think outside the traditional Valentine’s celebrations. Use any platform, mixed media or words and share that love this year for Valentine’s Day and the month of February.

Activity is open to all ages. Share why you love water and what it means to you at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or on social media using #LoveORK.


Extra ways to show you love water

Check out these sites for a few suggestions for how to dispose of batteries, e-waste or items that can be repurposed to see how they can be disposed of properly instead of ending up in the landfill or making their way into our waterways.

 

E-Waste

Goodwill is currently accepting electronics recycling, free of charge! Old wires,  electronics, kids toys, etc. can be donated as e-waste. Verify with your local Goodwill prior to drop off.

Textiles

Did you know that you can recycle textiles at appropriate clothing & shoe drop-off bins? Fabrics, especially those connected to ‘fast fashion,’ are one of the fastest growing materials in landfills, but they don’t need to be. They can be repurposed into other textile materials such as carpet, clothing, blankets, and more.

Guide to recycling textiles in Georgia

Batteries

Recycling or properly disposing of batteries can be confusing. Batteries are recycled in different ways depending on the type. If storing old batteries until they can be recycled, always be separate them by type and tape the ends to help slow the corrosion process. Call2Recycle offers mail-in options as well as a list of places that accept drop-offs.

Forest Ecology

Pinus longifolia. Public domain. Aylmer Bourke Lambert. 1803.

Vocabulary:

Adaptation – How a species changes over time to help it survive in its environment
Canopy – Tallest trees in a forest; also includes animals living in that level
Decomposition – The breakdown process of organic matter through decay, rotting, animal feces
Ecology – The study of relationships between organisms and their environment
Habitat – The environment in which a species typically lives and eats
Pioneer Species – The first species to enter a new habitat
Succession – Change in different species and their community over time
Symbiosis – A biological relationship between two species
Understory – Trees and plants that live below the main canopy level of a forest

Bald cypress samples

Activity:

Go outside and find a tree in your backyard, school playground, community park, etc. Once you pick your tree, look at the different characteristics (leaf shape, size, color; bark; height, trunk width; etc.) and identify your tree. 

Once you identify your tree, take note of its habitat. Does it like shade or sun? Does it grow near the water? Is it the tallest tree around or is it in the understory? Do you notice any animals or insects on, or around, your tree? Write down as many details about your tree’s habitat as you can. Take some photos or make a drawing / painting / collage of your tree. 

Bald cypress botanical drawing. Louisiana Digital Library.

Next, do some research (computer or library) to find out more about your tree. Write a short story about your tree and include everything you saw and read about it. Include a picture of your tree or your artistic representation and send it to us: info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org

One submission will be chosen to be featured on our social media!

If you need help with identifying your tree for this activity:

Arbor Day tree identification | LeafSnap App

or email a photo of your tree or leaf to melanie@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org


Activity can be done in combination with Project Learning Tree activity “We All Need Trees,” which can be adapted for PreK-6 grade in Science, Visual Arts & Language Arts.

Activity is open to all ages and was adapted from Rock Eagle 4-H Center Education Program Curriculum. It meets the needs or can be combined with other activities for the following Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science.

  • S3L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the similarities and differences between plants, animals, and habitats found within geographic regions (Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau) of Georgia.
  • S4L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the roles of organisms and the flow of energy within an ecosystem.
  • SBO1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to analyze the nature of the relationships between plant morphological structures and anatomical structures, functions, and processes.
  • SBO2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to delineate the plant divisions based on current plant phylogenetic and taxonomic principles.

Watershed Trivia

Generic illustration of a watershed

A watershed is a system of how water flows through an area moving sediment, water and dissolved materials into a common point. Think of how a river or creek flows into or out of a lake. The Ogeechee Watershed (see map) has many types of ecosystems within it including freshwater from the Piedmont region, to blackwater rivers and swamps in the Coastal Plain region and runs all the way to the Georgia coast.

Description of Activity:

Submit your trivia answers to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org by July 31. We’ll send a free t-shirt for the first one to get all answers correct. Although it is tempting, try not to go straight to Google for answers. Go outside, and look for the answers. Use books and maps rather than the internet for your research, if possible. 

Trivia Questions:

  1. How many watersheds does GA have?  Bonus: Name 3.
  2. How many major river basins does GA have?  Bonus: Name 2. 
  3. What are the 5 geographic regions of GA? 
  4. Name two creeks in your watershed.
  5. What is the biggest city in your watershed?
  6. Name three animals that live in the Ogeechee River watershed.
  7. Name one rare plant that lives in, but is not limited to, the Ogeechee River watershed.
  8. How many people does the Ogeechee River basin provide drinking water for?
  9. Name as many state parks as you can that are located in the Ogeechee River watershed.
  10. What is an aquifer?

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

  • S2E3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how weather, plants, animals, and humans cause changes to the environment.
  • S3L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the similarities and differences between plants, animals, and habitats found within geographic regions (Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau) of Georgia.
  • 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.

May Seeds So Summer Feeds

Watch your garden grow

Having fresh veggies is easy and fun.

Share your photos with Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Send in your sprout pictures to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media.

Thank you to Peyton and Whitley for demonstrating!

Materials needed:
– Empty egg cartons (preferably paper/cardboard cartons)
– Spray water bottle
– Seed packets: tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, watermelons, okra, sweet peppers, and/or marigold seeds & potting soil (can be ordered online or any other ag/garden supply store)
-OR- old potato(es), if you are not able to get seeds and potting soil

For seed packets:

  1. Poke small holes in the bottom of each “egg” for water to drain out.
  2. Fill each “egg” with soil, push a finger in the middle of the dirt up to the first or second knuckle (kids with small fingers)
  3. Drop in seeds (check package for amount of seeds per “egg”).
  4. Use a water spray bottle and spritz each “egg”.
  5. Check seed sunlight/shade preferences. Since egg cartons are light, you can move them around the yard for sun/shade needs!
  6. Once the seeds sprout and start to outgrow the cartons, you can replant them in a garden bed, large pot, etc. You can plant them directly into the ground in their paper/cardboard “egg” because they will decompose; if you used styrofoam cartons, you will need to transplant them.
  7. Make sure to separate each egg either by tearing or cutting.
Seedlings

Additional resources


For old potatoes:

  1. Let a few potatoes grow sprouts, also known as “eyes”. These cannot be eaten so instead of throwing them away, you can plant them and they need very little care.
  2. Cut the potato in half or leave whole in most soil types, leaving the eyes exposed. They will sprout in sun or shade.
  3. Water right after you plant them and then let them do the rest of the work.
  4. Water 1-2 times per week if it has not rained.
  5. After potatoes stems have finished flowering, you can go on a scavenger hunt for the fresh, new potatoes in the soil!

    Potato eyes beginning to sprout
Potato sprouting

Additional resources


Need to know what will grow best in our watershed? Visit the UGA Extension Service or the USDA hardiness zone maps.

Remember to share your photos with Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Send in your gardening pictures to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media with #ORKoutside.


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, earth systems and meteorology, depending on how in depth your activity is.

  • S1L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the basic needs of plants and animals.
  • S2L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the life cycles of different living organisms.
  • SBO4.C. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to analyze the impact of plant diseases and pests on plant defense systems and agriculture.
  • H.E1.5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision making skills to enhance health.