Wonders on the Wabash (WOW)

2018 dates: September 11, 12, 13, 18 & 19

Wonders on the Wabash is a free program designed by the Tippecanoe County Partnership for Water Quality (TCPWQ) for 6th grade classes in Tippecanoe County. Wonders on the Wabash focuses on the importance of our ecosystem and instills a sense of stewardship in protecting one of our most valuable natural resources, water. 

The students will experience a 4.5 mile rafting trip beginning at Tapawingo Park and ending at Fort Ouiatenon. The students will stop along the way to participate in various hands on learning sessions. Sessions may include but are not limited to: fish, soils, history, mussels, water quality and land use.

The program has been designed to incorporate state standards in: agriculture, mathematics, physical education, social studies, history, economics, geography,  science and many more. 

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Pre and Post Test

Students will be administered an in classroom pre-test by a TCPWQ staff member. Students will be tested after each session along with an on-the-river test.  The on-the-river test will be over the information they receive while on the raft. 

A complete post test will be administered in class after the trip. Tests will be picked up at your school by a TCPWQ staff member.

Forms and Waivers

All students must have a completed photo and liability waiver to participate in the Wonders on the Wabash expedition. Please click here to print and have students return the forms to Monica Christopher prior to the day of. 

All volunteers must pass a background check. The TCPWQ will cover the processing cost of the background check. Forms will be emailed to the volunteer once registration is completed.

Safety Information

  • Life jackets MUST be worn at all times. This is an insurance requirement that we must adhere to.
  • Students MUST wear closed-toe shoes at all times. 
  • No opened toe sandals or Crocs are allowed. This is an insurance requirement that we must adhere to.
  • Remain in raft at all times. Unless otherwise directed.
  • Do not stand in rafts.
  • When exiting rafts, exit from the front only.
  • Paddles are to be used to maneuver the raft. ONLY.
  • Emergency Personnel will be present in a motorized safety boat. They will have a first aid kit and will be able to assist should an emergency arise.
  • The trip will only be canceled in the event of severe weather or dangerously high water levels.
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Additional Educational Information

What is a watershed?

All geographical locations on Earth are part of a watershed. Watersheds are defined as areas that contain a common outlet into which water, sediments and dissolved materials drain, commonly called a drainage basin. Water drains from higher areas to lower areas, generally concentrating into a wetland, stream, river, or lake.

A watershed knows no boundaries except its own, they may cross political, land-use, and ownership boundaries.  They can be made up of farmland, housing developments, industrial sites, and urban areas. Buildings, people, plants, and animals all have an effects on watersheds.

How are watershed impacted?

Everyday activities can generate pollutants in a watershed. Some common sources are; lawns, gardens, construction sites, roadways, septic systems, and farmland. Road salt, pesticides, fertilizer, wastewater, and organic matter can be carried by stormwater runoff and enter the watershed.

These pollutants affect the biological balance of a watershed, causing increases in algae, weed growth, and cloudy water. When such an imbalance occurs, the waterquality is impacted, negatively affecting local plants, animals, and recreational activities.

Changes in land management also impact the quality of water throughout the watershed. When more homes and roads are built, water runoff is intensified. Without natural protective barriers, like woodlands and pastures, water enters ditches, streams and ponds at a much faster rate. The result is often a higher and more rapid flow during storm events, which can trigger the erosion of stream banks. This rapid flow carries more water away, leaving less for periods of dry weather. These changes are detrimental to fish and plant life, especially in drier seasons.