Just over a week ago, a small group of hardy volunteers braved the cold, wet weather to be a part of our very first day testing the water quality of the Spicket River. We met in the parking lot outside Groundwork’s office shortly after 6 am. With temperatures barely reaching into the 40s, and light rain beginning to pick up, it wasn’t exactly an ideal morning to be outside. In spite of the weather, we soldiered on, armed with our swing-sample poles, sample bottles, high tech YSI Multi-Meter, and coolers. At six sites along the river, from Manchester Street Park, down to the confluence of the Spicket and Merrimack Rivers, we made observations, recorded data, and collected samples for laboratory analysis. Our early morning efforts were rewarded with glimpses into the often overlooked wildlife of Lawrence. Fresh raccoon footprints were seen in the mud along the river at Hayden-Schofield Park, birds were active and singing everywhere, we even saw an adult Bald Eagle and a Great-blue Heron!size="2">
For the next nine months, from now through November 2013, our volunteers will be testing the water quality of the river as part of the Spicket River Urban Waters Project. As we gather more and more data, we will develop a better understanding of the river’s health, identify problem areas, and begin moving toward a healthier ecosystem. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to learn more, contact me, Ben Padilla! size="2">
Here they are at the end of the morning of testing with data sheets and sampling pole in hand.