This lesson focuses on taking children to the Lamprey River and allowing them to experience the river from a number of different locations. Included in the lesson are suggestions for completing several field studies that allow students to build and use a variety of monitoring tools to measure physical, chemical, and biological properties of the river.
Students will be able to
__bus or transportation
__first aid kit
__name tags for everyone (including chaperones)
__moistened towelettes to clean hands
__4 plastic containers with covers for water samples
___nets or strainers
__Ziploc bags (large and small) for leaf, rock, and soil samples
__pencils and pencil sharpeners
__clipboards for attaching data sheets
__dissolved oxygen kit and bucket with rope attached to the handle for collecting water
__measuring rope for current measurement
__bag of apples
__discover scopes (optional)
__markers (permanent) to label bags
__laminated map of the Lamprey River watershed
__data collection sheets
__global positioning system instrument (optional)
__appropriate monitoring tools (see individual lists for each activity)
__field guides for trees, plants, insects, birds, etc.
__laminated experiment sheets
__cell phone (optional, but very handy in case of emergency)
1. Select the sites for the field trip and visit them before taking the students on the trip. Time how long it takes to get from one location to another and remember that it generally takes about 5 minutes to load and unload buses with passengers. Be sure that you have written accurate directions for the bus driver.
2. At a minimum, classes should view the headwaters of the Lamprey at Betty Meadows in Northwood, and the closest point accessible to the end of the Lamprey River in Newmarket, at Heron Park. These sites, plus additional sites are listed in "Notes for the Teacher" at the end of this lesson. Teachers are urged to seek out safe, interesting points in their own towns and visit them to check for suitability and safety before taking their students there.
3. Inform the town offices that control sites where you might be visiting. Make arrangements for gates to be opened if necessary. Sometimes local conservation commissions can put you in touch with people in the community who can act as naturalists for your field trip.
4. Plan for bathroom and lunch stops along the way.
5. Arrange for transportation to chosen sites for the field trip. Often the bus can be provided free of charge if you plan your trip within the time limits that the bus will be available to the school.
6. Contact parents and other community people to act as group leaders for student research teams. One adult for every 3-4 children is a good ratio. Prepare a written field trip schedule for them and be sure they understand what they are to do on the trip. If possible, invite them in to assist the students when they are practicing their field trip experiments in class. It may also be useful to invite them to view the DVD with the students as preparation for the field experience.
7. Review information about the river, goals, and instructions before the field trip. Be sure the students know what group they will be in and who their chaperone will be.
8. Upon arrival at a site, have everyone gather together to hear a short site description, a review of safety measures, and purpose of observations and experiments at that particular site. After, have them get into their groups before going to the location.
9. Important: follow up the field trip with classroom activities that involve identifying and classifying specimens, using microscopes to look at water samples, using magnifying glasses to look at soil samples, etc. Use the data sheet records or other notes taken on the field trip to add information to the charts and watershed map created in previous lessons. Discuss relationships between plants and animals and the environment. Invite chaperones to assist the students in class. Chaperones are often interested in coming to the classroom to help with follow-up activities.
(Consult the Lamprey River Tour Map and Guide for other ideas for field trip sites along the river http://www.lampreyriver.org/UploadedFiles/Files/LampreyTourMap_page_1.pdf
Some Suitable Areas:
Northwood Meadows State Park (headwaters at Betty Meadows)
Freese's Pond---Deerfield * (The elementary school is very near this location.)
Raymond School---Raymond *
Foss Farm---Durham *
Sliding Rock Park---Newmarket
Wadleigh's Falls---Lee (with the permission and assistance of the Meekers, who live nearby.)
Mast Way School's field trip included four locations:
Notes from the participating teachers are in italics after each site.
1. Headwaters, Betty Meadows, Northwood Meadows State Park
From the Lee Traffic Circle, travel west on Route 4 for 11 miles. You should see a sign for Northwood Meadows State Park on the left of Route 4. Just beyond the sign, turn left onto the road to the park where you will see a gate. During the school year, the gate is usually closed. By contacting the park service (603-436-1552), someone might open the gate for you. Otherwise, you will have to walk to Meadow Lake. The walk is about .6 of a mile. When you reach the outhouse (which comes in handy), take a right down over the hill. The trek to the lake is a short distance. The students of Mast Way have enjoyed the walk, but consolidate your equipment and ask students to take turns carrying things.
This is a link to information about the park.
This is a link to a map of Northwood Meadows State Park http://www.nhstateparks.org/uploads/pdf/NALMC-TrailMap091208.pdf
As you approach the lake, there is a swamp on the right of the road. That is a good place to collect water samples. It is shallow and on warm days you may see things swimming in it. On the left is the lake. We’ve often seen turtles sunbathing on logs as we approached the water. Mast Way School classes spent as much as 2 hours collecting data at the headwaters.
Students easily conducted oxygen, acidity, temperature, and current speed tests at this site. There was no current, but testing it offered a good comparison for data that were collected at other locations. Water samples we collected contained daphnia and many other small organisms which were interesting to study later in the classroom. Because of the dam at one end, the water was very still. The vegetation included water lilies and other marsh-like plants that provided a good contrast for those in swifter-moving waters at later field trip sites. We found many signs of animal life: turtles, frogs in the water, woodpecker holes in trees, stumps and trees cut by beaver, lots of holes around fallen logs, spider webs, etc. There’s a small “cove” where an adult with tall rubber boots can stand and fish out bugs, etc.. There are trails to follow so groups can split up to explore different areas.
2a. Mary E. Folsom Blair Community Park, Epping
Note: Originally John Folsom Conservation Area was the recommended stop in Epping, but at this site many large trees have fallen across the trails making for a difficult trek to reach the river. Also, the vegetation at the edge of the river is thick, making water tests difficult.
Return to Route 4 heading east which is a right turn.
Go 3 miles and turn right on NH--Route 43 south.
Turn left onto Routes 107 and 43 at the stop sign.
Soon after this turn, the bus will pass Freese's Pond and Dam and will basically follow the route of the Lamprey River.
Stay on Route 107.
Bear left where Old Route 101 and Route 27 join Route 107.
In Raymond, take Route 27 to West Epping.
Go 1.6 miles and turn left onto Folsom Mill Road.
The park is a short distance down this road. Follow it into the park where there is plenty of parking.
It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Northwood Meadows to Mary Blair Park.
There is a kiosk with information about Mary Blair and the park. There often is a portable toilet near the kiosk. Beyond the kiosk and toilet is an area where you can look out over the river and see remnants of the dam that was removed in 2011, a bridge, and parts of mill foundations. The lower part of this opening could be used for water tests, but it is rocky. If you walk over some of the short trails, you’ll see more rock formations. A good spot to conduct water studies is the wide open area where the Epping Conservation Commission’s annual Lamprey River Canoe Race begins. It slopes gradually and is not rocky. Beyond this canoe launching area, the banks of the river become high and steep, so children should not conduct their tests further down the river. The park road continues on with the river on one side with steep banks and a baseball field on the other side. See the link below for a map of the various rock structures.
This is a link to the Epping Conservation Commission map of conservation areas https://6a656647-a-40d5b934-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/eppingconcomm.org/epping-conservation-commission/pdf/N6_Epp_NRI_OpenSpace_E.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7crH33HvC5QbAdMny5Fj_2BrRdRmpyQ6kQRAQ4keOS4P2kvhQNc7EHmXcakuVjpbHkEWtKiI5GCod8zTwbXAsr4L0JioKn_ucDLHs3EAl86UMknaaxYN-ynD9baMpIDjFQ5wqai7nWp51hd68rv0p74w8bEnZZsI9yWsrWBYfe9asHBxULGzmufed13o2caEUBY-9FhZyy-Z0Uce9PsQK2vbpxbcUReh5JCoodI00wiQ639lS7J-hU9Fcg5g1rNHM3y7xmq0TPgddP5Mkavl3MWqXvKitQ%3D%3D&attredirects=0
This link shows the information on the kiosk, a map of the park, short history of Mary’s family and the mills, and pictures of Mary Blair. http://www.eyaa.org/page/show/231845-mary-folsom-blair-park
To learn more about the site, review the 47 page pdf below. http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/dam/documents/bunker-pond-dam-archaelog.pdf Phase IA Archaeological Sensitivity Assessment, Proposed Bunker Pond Dam Removal, Epping, New Hampshire, By Alexandra Chan, Ph.D., Karen Hutchins, and Robert G. Goodby, Ph.D., December, 2010
Page 22 is the beginning of various maps of Bunker Pond, Bunker Dam and the Lamprey River. Pages 27 – 29 are maps of rock structures on both sides of the river. Page 28 is a map of the structures found in Mary Blair Park. Pages 30 – 47 are photos of the various structures (dam, flume, cellars, bridge foundation, etc.).
2b. Epping Town Hall: Another possible site in Epping is a park behind the Epping Town Hall. Access it from the town hall parking lot off Route 27. From Mary Blair Park, continue on Route 27 toward Epping village. After crossing Main Street, go past a pizza restaurant and dry cleaner. Immediately turn left into the parking lot. It’s a large lot with room for a bus to park. Walk to the grassy area behind the town hall, a tall brick building with a steeple. Cross the grassy area and see the Lamprey River. To the right of the grassy area is a trail that leads down to the river. As you walk the trials, look for signs of rock and brick structures. There’s also a large iron hook attached to a large boulder in the middle of the river. Further down the trail is a flat area where you can conduct water tests. There are also lots of different ferns and wild plants growing along the river.
3. Wadleigh Falls at the Meeker residence in Lee
(Mrs. Meeker was a naturalist for us. She allowed us to park our bus in the driveway and walked down to the falls with us. Permission to use any private property must be obtained before planning to use it as a part of the field trip. Call 659-5441 to visit this site.)
Return to Route 27, turning right toward Epping village.
Proceed to Route 125.
Turn left onto Route 125 toward Lee.
Take a right onto Highway 152. (There’s a stop light at this intersection.)
Continue on 152 until you cross the bridge over the Lamprey.
The Meeker house is the second house on the left. (It is yellow with a red barn behind it.) Park in the circular drive beside the house
After getting off the bus, our classes re-organize into their groups and walk down to view the falls, where they take samples, do experiments and make observations in their notebooks. The site provides river sounds, oxygen levels, current flow, and plant life that are different from the other sites. It is important to have the chaperones supervise the students very well in this location, since the river flows quickly here. This is not an appropriate site when the river is high in the spring. It is available only with permission and presence of Mrs. Meeker. The students were excited about seeing the supports for an old flue, parts of the dam, the island where Native Americans camped when they came to fish, and the depressions in the bank where vats holding chemicals to prepare leather were placed. We found a small pile of old leather scraps, remains of an old wagon, bits of crockery, fishing line, beverage cans, and other evidence that humans have used the area from the past to the present time. Wadleigh Falls is the only known site along the Lamprey where a horizontal water wheel was used. We stayed there about 45 minutes.
4. Heron Point Sanctuary (near the mouth of the river), Newmarket
Leaving the Meeker driveway, turn left on Route 152 in Lee and continue to Newmarket.
In Newmarket, turn left onto Route 108 and continue over the bridge.
Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn right onto Bay Road.
Drive about 1/2 mile until you come to a mobile home park.
Turn right and drive into the mobile home park.
Drive a short distance to the Heron Point Sanctuary.
Turn right onto the dirt road and continue to the parking lot.
This drive takes about 30 minutes.
Gather and study the sign with a map of the sanctuary.
Then, keeping the students on the upper outlook platform, look across the river at the Newmarket mills.
This part of the river is tidal. As the tide is coming in, the water flows upstream. As the tide goes out, the water flows toward Great Bay. If you visit Heron Point at low tide or somewhat low tide, you can conduct water tests, but you have to be careful because it is rocky. At low tide, you can reach a flat, muddy “beach.” Behind the map, there is a wooden stairway and a large platform. From the platform you have a great view of the Newmarket mills, the dam and the Lamprey River. We walked to the platform, then talked about the history of this site and observed the differences in the river. There are paths down to the water around the platform. (You could safely conduct tests at the public landing on the other side of the river at the Newmarket public boat landing next to Joyce's Kitchen. It’s called Schanda Park. There you would see the historic fish weir and a kiosk describing town history, including old photos and maps.) The vegetation along the trails was different from the other two sites. Huge boulders were scattered throughout the area and a thick stand of hemlocks covered the hillside. At various times we’ve seen otters, ducks, cormorants, and gulls in this part of the river. (Plan to carry a map that shows the river ending in Great Bay.) The map in the parking lot showed the location of a Native American grinding stone used to grind seeds for flour. Looking for the grinding stone would be a fascinating ending to your trip. There are also several geocaches located along the trails. There is no bathroom at this site.
This is a link to information and a map of Heron Point Sanctuary. http://web2.newmarketnh.gov/docs/Heron_Point.pdf
This is a link to the Newmarket Historical Society site which has pictures of Heron Point, Schanda Park, and many other historical pictures of the mills, floods, the dam, etc.
The river, the river, the ongoing river.
It winds its way through hills and valleys,
Bubbling its way through its rocky bed.
It sometimes flows quietly,
While other times, roars madly.
These experiments focus on physical and chemical characteristics of the Lamprey River that students can observe, measure, record, and compare. During the pre-field activities, students have an opportunity to practice measuring skills or make specific equipment to use in the field. After gathering and recording information in teams, students have the opportunity to share the data they have collected to develop a "bigger" picture of the significance of what they have discovered.
Students will be able to
During the pre-field and field experiments students will measure the following properties of the Lamprey River in one or two locations and record their findings on the data sheets at the back of this section:
1. Collect all the necessary materials to conduct the experiments and study the Teacher Background information preceding each Student Experiment.
2. Discuss with the students the characteristics they are going to measure and why they are important to animals and plants that live in the river habitat.
3. Divide the class into 5 research teams. Each group will choose a recorder to write down information on the data sheet, a technician to be responsible for the equipment before and after the experiment, two scientists to conduct the experiment, and a presenter to share the information with the rest of the class.
4. Distribute the appropriate experiment information, equipment, and Data Sheet #8, and a clipboard to each group. Laminating the experiment information sheets on stiff paper is helpful so students can easily handle them in the classroom and the field.
5. If possible, have an adult work with each group. Inviting the chaperones who will be going on the field trip to assist the students in the classroom is a good opportunity for them to learn the experiments before they are expected to help the students at sites along the river.
6. Allow time for the class to come together, report, and discuss each experiment. Help the students understand the relationship of their experiment to the animals and plants that live in and along the river. Ask what the children think the data might be telling them.
7. Examine the other observation sheets at the end of this lesson and discuss them with the children. Emphasize using their senses to help make observations.
1. Prior to leaving on the field trip, collect all the necessary equipment and organize it according to the experiment in which it will be used. The technician for each of the five groups can be responsible for the equipment, with the assistance of the adult chaperone.
2. While at the field site, be sure to have adequate adult supervision (at least one adult for each experiment team). Because even the cleanest-looking water can be contaminated, make sure students do not eat anything while they collecting samples and conducting the experiments. Use handi-wipes to clean hands after the experiment phase is complete.
3. As each experiment is conducted, be sure that each person records the necessary information on Data Sheet #8. Conduct the experiments at different sites so that results can be compared later.
4. After the experiments have been conducted, students can be given observation sheets to help them study the site in more detail.
5. Briefly share and summarize each site with the help of the students before they get back on the bus to go to the next site.
6. When the class has returned from the field trip, bring the students back together in the next day or two to talk about the data they have collected from the experiments and observations. Compare and contrast results of experiments at different sites and discuss observable differences such as current speed, water temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, etc.. Record the results in a variety of ways: on the charts that have been developed in other lessons, on the watershed maps, using the computer to graph and compare data, and through creative interpretation in dioramas, poems, stories, etc..