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John Fridell checks a D net. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

Toes in the Toe Watershed Discovery

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Greetings, and welcome to the Southern Appalachian creature feature.

Few children ever get the opportunity to wade into a stream, shoes on, while their teacher not only looks one, but encourages them. However, nearly every fifth grade student in Yancey and Mitchell counties recently had just that opportunity as they went out to the North and South Toe rivers for this year’s Toes in the Toe Discovery – an annual event that aims to get kids out of the classroom and to a river in their community for a day of learning.

The students got to grab a net and collect stream insects; learned about watershed health, farming, and energy; and used art to explore their river. By the end of the day more than a few were fairly wet, but the sun was warm and a headful of memories had been made.

For many of us, it can be a little too easy to forget how fundamental rivers are to our communities. Perhaps most importantly, they provide many of us with drinking water. They’re home to a diversity of life including economically important sportfish populations. And they’re hotspots of outdoor recreation.

One of the easiest ways to keep rivers in our minds is to get out and enjoy them. As we continue through fall, temperatures are getting a little low for splashing around in your favorite river, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to get out in a canoe or kayak.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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