SPARTA, NJ - The students at Sparta Alpine Elementary School had the opportunity to participate in the Trout in the Classroom program. As part of their Sparta Township Enrichment Program or STEP the children studied rainbow trout from eggs to release.
While storms impacted the planned release event, arrangements were made to include the students in the final stage of the program.
Several hundred trout eggs arrived in September. The students were able to watch the eggs hatch into alevin and slowly grow into fingerlings. Every month the students spent time learning about and observing the trout through their different stages of life.
As the end of May approached, a release date was scheduled. An event was being organized where the students would meet at Station Park in Sparta to release 27 rainbow trout into the Wallkill River.
Mother Nature, however, had plans of her own. With the recent storm, the school lost power for a few days putting the Rainbow Trout in danger, according to STEP teacher Christina Morrow.
Taking immediate action to ensure the rainbow trout would safely make their way into the river, the decision was made to release the trout early. Morrow brought the rainbow trout down to Station Park on Wednesday, May 16.
Because the students were unable to attend the much anticipated release, Morrow said she created a video to allow them to experience the culmination of their year long project. The video is posted on Youtube.
“Although the students of Alpine were disappointed that they missed the release, they were happy to know that their rainbow trout were able to swim in the river, which was the end goal all along,” Morrow said. “They look forward to the arrival of the new trout eggs in September of 2018 as they will again be part of this amazing experience.”
Morrow thanked the Trout in the Classroom program, Alpine PTO, and Sparta School District for supporting this program and providing the students of Alpine Elementary School with this opportunity.