Mapping Our Watershed: the Qualities of Water

Photography by Joseph Simpson

On Saturday, May 6th we had perfect weather–sunny, clear, not too hot or too cool–for Mapping Our Watershed‘s first workshop. We gathered at Ralph Morgan Park, a sliver of land bounding both sides of Tookany Creek, hemmed in by train tracks on one side and a road on the other. But there are still sections where the creek flows around rocks and trees, and there was plenty to observe. 

I co-facilitated this workshop with Ryan Neuman, the Upstream Conservation Leader for the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF). Ryan talked about how our watershed is intimately interconnected with hundreds of others that flow from upstate New York through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. I talked about the fact that water is constantly in motion, and ask participants to pay attention to pattern, contrast, line, and form and take photographs as they conduct an assessment of a section of creek. Ryan adapted several habitat assessment tools to create a checklist that participants used to learn how to observe different aspects of watershed health.

The group was enthusiastic and reported that this workshop gave them tools to better understand watershed health. They also made some beautiful photos, which I converted to a deep blue duotone. These photos will be used in the next workshop, coming up this Sunday at Cheltenham Center for the Arts, to create a large collage. 

More workshops are coming up in June and July! On June 18th, I will be joined by soil scientist and UPenn professor Dr. Alain Plainte for a closer look at soil. We’ll observe and make drawings of soil and will do some soil cores. Sign up link is here. And on June 26th, we’ll make paintings from soil! Sign up link is here.

See you in the watershed!




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