2625 S. Tyler
Wichita, KS 67215
Contact Environmental Resources
Many Kansas streams are seriously degraded or threatened and
landowners typically lack appreciation of the problem and the basic knowledge
and information needed to prevent further damage. Many landowners also have
misconceived ideas that work against their own interests, those of their
downstream neighbors, and the larger rural ecosystem.
The Sedgwick County Conservation District can teach you about
stream resources and stewardship practices with a system of four trailer-mounted
stream hydrology models and a curriculum.
Build your own streams and experiment with riparian
vegetation, straightening channels, and natural and human impacts on watersheds.
This hands-on activity is fun and informative for all ages.
Audiences can observe normal and abnormal stream processes as
they experiment with riparian vegetation, straightening channels, and natural
and human impacts on watersheds. “What-if” scenarios provide quick and dramatic
illustrations of the long-term effects of various practices.
The Stream Model Trailer simulates surface water flow and its
energies; how changes upstream affect the watercourse and streambanks
downstream. Topics addressed include:
Streambank Erosion & Stabilization
The importance of wetland and riparian areas, through
streambank protection and water quality, is demonstrated.
“Vegetation - It’s Doing a Job” – Plastic
plants simulate root networks and protect the banks from erosion. The effects of
removing the “vegetation” can be seen in areas without the plastic screening.
“Flooding is Natural” – Educates people that
flooding is a natural and necessary process common to nearly ever stream and
river in the country.
“Rivers Never Run Straight” – Educates the
public about the consequences of channel straightening and why it does not work.
This lesson can be used to show ‘neighbor versus neighbor’ scenarios, which
demonstrates how actions on your land can affect your neighbor’s land.
“Sediment - Too Much is Bad” – This lesson
demonstrates the effects of too much sediment in a stream. The lesson is set up
to show the formation of point and mid-channel bars and their relation to stream
erosion, as well as how sediment size affects habitat quality. The use of BMPs
are also incorporated into this lesson to demonstrate their effectiveness in
reducing the amount of sediment that reaches a stream.
The Conservation District staff and the Streambank Erosion
Trailer are available for public education events throughout Sedgwick County.
Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.
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