Students at Rossland Summit School have been observing the Jubilee Wetland this school year.
Laura Jackman’s Grade 1 and 2 class has been making observations about the wetland every Tuesday afternoon since September, and Jackman says the students’ observations have changed a lot over the seasons.
“It was interesting seeing the changes into winter and the ice started forming,” said Jackman. “We take the water temperature every Tuesday, and there would be ice and it would be minus 20 out and the kids would be like, ‘How come it’s only zero? The water temperature’s not going lower than zero.’ Then finally one day one of them was like, ‘Ah, of course. Because it would turn to ice first.’”
During the winter the students also measured the depth of the snow and cored through the ice to measure the thickness. Now that it’s summer, the students have been making observations about some of the wetland’s inhabitants.
Last week the students observed a damselfly nymph and other small insects living in the water.
“We’re trying to figure out what’s on the damselfly fly,” explained one student, as he and his fellow students observed the insect with magnifying glasses.
Over the spring they’ve also been observing algae in the wetland.
“That was really bothering them for a while, because they thought it was really yucky,” explained Jackman. “So we tracked the size of that and we had my sister, who’s an aquatics biologist Skype in and talked about how it can be caused by an imbalance due to contaminants, but it also does naturally form, so it would take some real high-level science to figure out if this is caused from contaminants or naturally.”
Jackman’s students have been observing the pond on the east side of the wetland, as opposed to the west, where an invasive species, creeping buttercup, has been growing.
“And we have noticed that it’s starting to come into our side,” said Jackman.
Students have also been working on research projects about the birds living near the wetland.
While Jackman’s students are careful to respect the wetland while they explore, there have been reports of some people splashing or boating in the ponds.
The Jubilee Wetland is home to a number of species, including mallard ducks and Pacific chorus frogs, and it’s important not to disturb them.