Yesterday’s adventure along the Neches River on Cardinal Boat was so much fun!
Neches River Adventures.org is a division of the Environmental Learning and Research Center in Beaumont. For educational purposes, they offer adventure-based, discovery programs developed to engage students in hands-on learning act ivies on what is essentially a floating laboratory classroom. Comprehensive programs include outdoor lab experiences and links to State standards-based curriculum (Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic).
Our kids had an amazing time discussing Neches River fish and wildlife, erosion, how the hurricanes and drought have affected the animals that depend on the river (including humans! Beaumont depends on the Neches for our local our water supply), logging and clear-cutting, oil-drilling, animal habitats and Neches River history. Then we went back into one of the river off-shoots and the kids helped with experiments in water clarity, salinity and another water test that included “a green pill that said if the water was clean or not”, according to one student.
“I liked the blue heron and the twisty tree that we saw. It was twisty because the tree twisted to get the sun on its one branch We also learned about water clarity with a big tube.” – Tav, age 7
“I enjoyed seeing my friends yesterday. I learned that the water in the Neches is surprisingly clean, and that we get most of our drinking water from the Neches River.” – PeaGreen, age 8
“I really enjoyed the Neches River Adventure even though it was hot. I loved seeing the unusual trees and the beautiful flowers and the birds. I had so much fun with Captian Spud teaching us all about navigating the river and how to drive the boat. We learned a lot about the river and wildlife. We also got to do a water test and learn about how important the river is to the wildlife and people.” – Lyla, age 8
“I really enjoyed seeing the mullet and bass jumping out of the water when we were going in the boat. I learned that the drought has made the Gulf of Mexico flow into the river and changing salinity of the Neches.” – LBB, age 9
“I loved the beautiful flowers, birds and trees. We saw the most beautiful bird, the blue heron. The trip was fun and I enjoyed the company of the people I now call friends and I considered it a fun trip, except for the heat.” – LilMiss, age 10
and SFK, one of our resident bloggy-moms commented:
“I really enjoyed being on the water and seeing a side of our part of Texas that I don’t normally get to see. I learned so much about the Neches River and our beautiful bayou. We have such a diverse ecosystem and it is a shame that whole virgin cypress were wiped out in the late 1800’s and that it is still at risk in other ways today. It is a truly beautiful and breathtaking look at a much earlier time in the Earth’s history. I very much enjoy watching my children enjoy nature and learning even when they think they are not. Today they are talking about water clarity and salinity, different birds and animals that they saw, or had hoped to see, and connecting that to our earlier bat hike this week wondering how the heat and water salinity are affecting both the wildlife and the trees.”
We’re hoping to plan another trip in November, so if you missed this trip, be sure to let us know that you’re interested in going next time! Until then, you can visit Neches River Adventures on Facebook and schedule a chartered trip anytime.