On Thursday morning, third graders at L.J. Bell Elementary School got a chance to get their hands wet in observance of World Water Monitoring Day. Students took a special field trip to Castlewood Park in Rockingham to study techniques of water monitoring and the science behind it.
Murphy Brown LLC of Laurinburg, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., partnered with the students to teach them the importance of properly maintaining water conditions in a safe environment. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) have urged individuals and organizations worldwide to participate and help raise awareness of the importance of water quality.
“We chose Ledbetter Lake because we wanted to pick a body of water within the community,” said Gina Cudd, a controller with Murphy Brown. “It’s all about the commitment that Smithfield’s Murphy Brown has with keeping lakes clean and environmentally safe — and we thought it would be fun getting the kids into it.”
Murphy Brown staff worked with students to test small tubs of water for conditions like pH levels, chlorine and temperature, and had students record their findings with a small testing kit they received during the trip.
Mike Cudd, the land nutrient manager for the region, spoke to the third graders about determining turbidity using the tubs of water collected from the lake.
“If you can see through the water and can see the sticker at the bottom, then you’ve got zero turbidity,” he explained. “When it rains a lot and the water gets a lot of sediment in it, that also can change the turbidity of the water.”
Students continued to measure pH levels with small test tubes at rotating stations throughout the park.
“With Murphy Brown, we’re really environmentally conscious and that’s one thing we strive hard to do,” Cudd said. “It’s especially important for the safety of a lot of these kids in rural areas — this just gives them a good basis and a good start.”
During the field trip, students also got the chance to have lunch and explore the playground at Castlewood Park.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.