Exploring the Banks of the Rio Chama

Last Wednesday was a gorgeous day, and we were finally able to get out on the Rio Chama below Abiquiu Dam with our 4th-6th grade River Classroom students from Española. We’ve struggled to get out on the river because until January 1, flows were much too high to be wading. Since January 1 it seems like every Wednesday has been bitterly cold. Wednesday was just right!

We started off by talking about wader safety for the kids that haven’t had waders on before.

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Discussing wader safety

Soon we were heading out to wade across the Rio Chama.

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Our goal was to explore an area across the river where we would like to build a wetland. We were looking for signs of animal life.

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Exploring the proposed wetland area
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Exploring the proposed wetland area

We found several paths created by animals, and we followed those to see what tracks we could find.

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Looking for tracks
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Following a path
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Checking out a hole in the bank

We also learned about plants.

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Discussing one of the many plants in the area.
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A pack rat nest by a juniper

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Rabbit scat!
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Somebody had prickly pear for dinner
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A beaver enjoyed this Foresteria

Soon it was time to head back across the river for lunch and measuring water quality.

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Our students also got to learn a little about fish that live in the river from USACE Ranger Nathaniel.

It was another gorgeous day outside with our River Classroom students!

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