Volunteers take samples of water from Heeter Ditch Sept. 18. Photo provided
Volunteers take samples of water from Heeter Ditch Sept. 18. Photo provided
Two hundred and thirty-five citizen scientists joined forces last week to collect, test and analyze water samples from all across the area.

This single-day “snapshot” of water quality in the local watershed took place as part of International Water Monitoring day on Sept. 18 and was sponsored by The Watershed Foundation and Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservancy.

2019 was the third annual local “Snapshot Monitoring Day” and participation in the event has grown year after year, according to a news release from TWF. The volunteers monitored a total of 98 sites and gathered data that will be used to combat water quality degradation.

“Snapshot Monitoring Day is a really special opportunity to engage with the public in a very meaningful way. Along with the important data collection that happens, we really value the community involvement that takes place.” said TWF Executive Director and Snapshot Monitoring Day founder Lyn Crighton. “Once people literally get their feet wet, they become much more invested in protecting our beautiful lakes and streams.”

Monitoring volunteers met Sept. 18 at one of three staging sites across the upper Tippecanoe River watershed area: Center Park Pavilion in Warsaw, North Webster Community Center and Old Loon Farm near Columbia City. From there they headed out into the field to collect samples from 3 to 6 assigned locations. They then returned to their staging sites to test and analyze their samples.

Along with many community volunteers, students from Washington and Madison elementary schools, Goshen College and Grace College also took part in the event.

“The Watershed Foundation is so grateful to the volunteers who made Snapshot Day 2019 such a success,” said Crighton. “With your support, TWF will continue to take action for healthy lakes in our community.”