Through a Williams Foundation grant, and the volunteer efforts of Environmental Specialist Kevin Yokum, Williams has supported the Trout in the Classroom conservation project for several years, purchasing trout equipment and providing volunteers for the classroom.
Trout in the Classroom (TIC), administered nationally by non-profit Trout Unlimited, offers students a chance to raise trout from eggs in aquariums within their classrooms, and then head to Holly River in West Virginia to release the fish. Students learn about trout biology, feeding habitats, water quality, pollution, pH, and impacts that external factors have on stream ecology, creating a concrete connection between caring for the fish, and caring for the water.
In addition to his classroom teaching in 2016, Kevin participated with four elementary schools for TIC field day at Holly River State Park. Close to 70 fifth graders participated in the program and attended the event to release their fingerlings into the cold streams.
West Virginia’s State Parks, Division of Environmental Protection, Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia University Extension 4-H, and Williams set up learning stations for the students during the stocking event. Williams’ presentation covered sediment control, pipeline safety, how to identify a pipeline right of way, and how a pipeline works. A rocket launcher is used to illustrate how pressure moves gas through a pipeline and is usually the coolest highlight of the event each year. This year was no different.