There's an awful lot of water on the planet Earth, and Denise Natoli Brooks, environmental education specialist with the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District, wants no one to take it for granted, particularly during National Wildlife Week, March 17-23.
"The reason why Licking County Soil and Water is a leader in educating the community about wildlife, water and other natural resources is quite simple: All animals, including humans, need clean water to survive," she said.
With a theme for the week of "Wildlife and Water: From the Mountains to the Rivers to the Oceans," Brooks said, she and her colleagues are interested to record wildlife living in local waterways.
"Licking County Soil and Water continues to monitor our water quality through the Stream Team program," she said.
The Stream Team is a citizens' science-driven initiative in which trained volunteers adopt and test a specific waterway throughout the year.
Brooks said she hopes people visit the conservation district's Facebook page to find and share information and comments throughout National Wildlife Week.
"The main conversation will focus on wildlife sightings," she said. "With spring in the air, we should start observing more wildlife returning to our area.
" I saw my first red-winged blackbird of 2014 this past weekend. It's so exciting to see these familiar summer birds show up after a long winter."
Brooks said the conservation district also will use Facebook to share related programs and projects related to wildlife and water. For example, she said, the Licking County River Round Up poster contest committee is accepting entries from K-12 students.
These posters should reflect water-pollution awareness and encourage volunteer participation in the River Round Up, an annual event in which volunteers collect trash and debris along shorelines and from boats throughout the Licking River watershed.
Also, the conservation district will take orders for free seedling trees for students in middle school and elementary school.