by: Angela Danovi, Ozarks Water Watch StreamSmart Coordinator
One Saturday of classroom and field training concluded with 27 new volunteers, the largest class on record, ready to monitor streams in the Beaver Lake Watershed. The training class was held for new volunteers interested in forming teams with the Ozarks Water Watch StreamSmart Volunteer Monitoring Program.
StreamSmart is a volunteer water quality monitoring program run by to assess baseline water quality of the streams and rivers that flow into Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas. Through the program, local volunteers collect water samples and complete field assessments through a standardized water quality monitoring process.
During the morning training, participants completed classroom training where they received their training manuals, met professional staff from the Arkansas Water Resources Center, and learned about the monitoring procedures. During lunch, they had an opportunity to sign up for one or more of the 7 sites available for new volunteers to monitor.
In the afternoon, everyone joined together at Clear Creek between Fayetteville and Springdale to practice the protocol and enjoy the cool water.
Over the next few weeks the volunteers will get an opportunity to visit their sites, get to know their teammates, and make a plan for their upcoming first monitoring event in August, which will begin our 8th year of volunteer stream monitoring in the Beaver Lake Watershed!
We are looking forward to working with this new group of volunteers and continuing to collect high quality data about our water quality in the Beaver Lake Watershed.