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Environment / Sustainability

Environmental Health class helps in Big Thompson cleanup

November 15, 2010
By Carol Borchert

The Environmental Health Water Quality class (ERHS 320) recently participated in the biannual Big Thompson River Revival Cleanup in Loveland. The class, taught by Professor David Gilkey, has played an active role in the event for seven years.

Getting hands dirty for waterway

“This year’s class was the major community group attending and provided onsite assistance, education, and cleanup services,” said Gilkey, associate professor in Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. As many as 200 volunteers got their hands dirty for the waterway during the cleanup on Sept. 25

The event is hosted annually by the city of Loveland and the Big Thompson Watershed Forum. This year, the event focused on a stretch of the river from Wilson Avenue to U.S. 287. As one of two cleanup events held each year, the revival is important in keeping the water safe for humans and animals.

Remove debris, create awareness about pollutants

Volunteers remove debris, including metals and other materials that can leach into the water making it unsafe for aquatic animals. The event also helps the Big Thompson Watershed Forum create awareness about other pollutants in the river, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and pet waste.

Water science scholarship recipient

In related news, Lindsay Davis, right, a senior at Colorado State University majoring in environmental health with a minor in geology, was named as the recipient of the Dave Cole Environmental Scholarship Award.

Cole served on the Big Thompson Watershed Forum's Board of Directors for 10 years, from 1998 to 2008, and is keenly interested in water science education for the region's youth.

$1,500 award

Davis spent part of last year studying abroad at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, focusing on hydrogeology and environmental geochemistry. She will receive her award and a check for $1,500 at the Big Thompson Watershed Forum's 12th Annual Meeting in February 2011.

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Originally published in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science E-Insight newsletter, November 2010.