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Peekskill MS Students Enhance Community Sustainability

Members of the PKMS Environmental Club pull debris from Lake Mitchell in Depew Park.
Members of the PKMS Environmental Club pull debris from Lake Mitchell in Depew Park. Photo Credit: Peekskill City School District

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- A group of Peekskill Middle School students are working to promote sustainability and sustainable practices at Depew Park, as well as monitor the overall quality of the health of Lake Mitchell, as part of their participation in the 21st annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education.

To accomplish this, the Peekskill Middle School Environmental Club, along with city representatives, will conduct a study of Lake Mitchell in an effort to uncover the cause of excessive algae buildup that occurs within the lake. The students will attempt to discover the cause of any fluctuations in the quality of the water, such as variations in pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and nitrogen.

Along with the Lake Mitchell examination, the students will be working to clear and preserve sections of the extensive network of trails that cover Depew Park. Students also will look to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy ecosystems within Depew Park, and reinforce the responsibility local residents have in maintaining the park system for public enjoyment.

The Wheelabrator Symposium challenges middle school students to research, develop and implement long-term solutions to local environmental issues, working with their teachers and Wheelabrator employee-volunteers. It incorporates STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts and provides students with an interdisciplinary view of environmental issues and solutions.

A team of 10 Peekskill Middle School students will present their findings to a panel of educators, environmental experts and Wheelabrator employees at the Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education May 4-7 in Baltimore. Student teams from 13 schools across Florida, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic will participate in this year’s symposium.

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