Discovering the Great Outdoors at Little Bennett Campground

Great Outdoors FestivalThe Great Outdoors Festival sponsored by Montgomery Parks was held at Little Bennett Campgrounds in Clarksburg, MD last Saturday, August 20, 2016. The day was hot and humid, but that didn’t stop hundreds of families from flocking to Little Bennett Campground to learn from local outdoors enthusiasts, retailers, conservation organizations and Montgomery Parks staff about the many outdoors activities and opportunities in the area. More than 20 vendors including Audubon Naturalist Society’s Communities for Clean Streams were on hand to provide on-hands learning, activities and fun. ANS’s Communities for Clean Streams gave demonstrations on how to use the popular Creek Critters app, an outreach tool designed to get people out into their local waterways and show users how to catch and identify small organisms that live in freshwater streams. The benthic macroinvertebrates, or creek critters serve as indicators of stream health. Karen Kuehl - ANS volunteer demonstrating Creek Critters08202016 Great Outdoors Festival - Creek Critters app demoEven without a stream nearby, kids and adults still enjoyed trying to identify images of critters in bug boxes using simple observation techniques and answering basic questions such as “does it have a shell? or does it look like a worm? ANS volunteer Karen Kuehl is shown demonstrating the app to one young visitor. The cornerstone of ANS’ conservation advocacy is protecting clean water. We work to protect our region’s local streams and watersheds. We connect residents to their neighborhood streams and empower them to take actions to protect local water quality. Audubon Naturalist Society is teaming up with the Alice Ferguson Foundation to offer a water quality stream monitoring event called Creek Critters in Antietam Creek on Saturday, September 24th from 10:30am-12:30pm. View the event posting here. FREE event, but registration is required as space is limited. Registration opens on Thursday, September 1st. Please visit anshome.org to register for this event and to check out other programs, classes and events. Download the FREE Creek Critters app from the Apple App store or Google Play before you jump into a stream.  To schedule your own Citizen Science water quality monitoring “Creek Critters” event for you faith-based group, local civic or community group, school, HOA, etc. please contact Gregg.Trilling@anshome.org. Protect and enjoy nature! Leslie McDermott Communications Manager for ANS’s Communities for Clean Streams
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