Education Programs

Education Programs

RiverLink’s education program focuses on getting students out in the watershed for hands-on experiential learning. We believe that in order to foster a love and appreciation for our water resources, students must see, hear and interact with their local waterways. We hope that by engaging with our program students will be inspired to become the next generation of water stewards. All of our lessons are offered free of charge for all school and community groups within the French Broad River Watershed. These interdisciplinary programs are available for students K-12 and meet curriculum standards of North Carolina.

To set up a lesson with your group please email or

Possible Lessons

Macroinvertebrate Sampling

Recommended age: All ages!

Location: We’ll work with you to find an appropriate stream near your school.

Suggested time frame: 1 hour

Macroinvertebrates play a huge role in helping us determine the quality of our waterways. These lessons teach students how to identify these species and what makes them so important. Students will get in the creek and search for macros under rocks, in leaf packs, even using kick nets. Once they’ve collected a good sample they’ll be able to determine the streams health using their findings. RiverLink will provide nets, sampling containers and waders for these lessons.

Water Quality Testing

Recommended age: 6th grade and up.

Location: We’ll work with you to find an appropriate stream near your school.

Suggested time frame: 1 hour

For those who really want to dig into the chemistry of their water, these lessons give students a great chance to act as citizen scientists. RiverLink will bring all the equipment required to test nitrates, phosphates, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. Students will learn how each of these measurements effects water health and what factors could be contributing to them. Students findings will also help us monitor water quality in stream across the French Broad River Watershed.


Recommended age: K-5th

Location: Anywhere, in the classroom, at a park whatever works for you!

Suggested time frame: 30 – 45 minutes

This activity is perfect for students just being introduced to the concept of a watershed. Our EnviroScape model helps students visualize how water moves through their community, and what impacts our neighborhoods have on water quality. Students will simulate rain fall events and watch as the water picks up oil, sediment and other pollutants as it goes into the river. They will then learn how we can help control this pollution and get to enact a few methods on the model.