Citizen scientists will be arriving at the Pershing Township Volunteer Fire Department in Freetown on Friday to pick up bottles, waders and coolers.
Their job for the day? Collecting water samples from streams that flow into the South Fork Salt Creek and on into Lake Monroe.
Volunteers will work in teams of two to collect water samples from streams like Tipton Creek, Kiper Creek, Runt Run and South Fork Salt Creek. Samples will be analyzed for E. coli, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus.
“A lot of people don’t know that rainfall in Kurtz, Houston and Freetown flows eventually into Lake Monroe,” said watershed coordinator Maggie Sullivan. “Many thanks to the ladies auxiliary of the Pershing Township Volunteer Fire Department for hosting our Jackson County team.”
Boy Scouts of America Hoosier Trails Council, Brown County Inn, Story Inn and Gatesville Country Store are hosting additional staging locations in Story, Gatesville, Nashville and Bloomington.
Volunteers outside Jackson County will collect samples from streams that flow to Middle Fork Salt Creek, North Fork Salt Creek and directly into Lake Monroe.
Friends of Lake Monroe, a nonprofit based in Bloomington, is partnering with the Indiana University Limnology Lab to organize the events. They will use the sampling results and other data to develop a watershed management plan for the lake that will be released in early 2022. Watershed management plans identify water quality problems, propose solutions and create a strategy for putting those plans into action.
“Right now, our focus is data collection,” said Sullivan, who added that anyone with suggestions or questions may call her at 812-558-0217.
Read more:: Salt Creek water sampling event set for Friday