Maine School Kids Release Classroom-Raised Trout Into the Wild

May 21, 2009

Poland Spring volunteers teach hundreds of Maine school kids about watershed protection and conservation

HOLLIS, Maine, May 21 /PRNewswire/ — Poland Spring and local school kids from Buxton and Hollis released young brook trout into the wild this week, in their final lesson of the Trout in the Classroom program. As part of the company’s commitment to giving back to local communities, Poland Spring is teaching hundreds of Maine school kids about water quality, conservation and environmental impact. The final trout release of the year will take place in Kingfield, Maine on Friday, May 29th.

Poland Spring Education Coordinator Heather McBean is the driving force behind the program, which Poland Spring began funding in 2008. At today’s trout release McBean said, “Poland Spring is committed to protecting and preserving land near our spring sites to ensure the long-term sustainability of local watersheds. Through this program, we can pass along the values of stewardship and conservation and give these kids a direct connection to their local water system.”

Poland Spring has expanded the program this year to reach 380 fifth grade students in four school districts, up from 180 students last year. The program serves students in communities where Poland Spring has invested in its three bottling plants and satellite spring sources: Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls (Poland plant); Kingfield, Phillips, Stratton and Strong (Kingfield plant); Hollis and Buxton (Hollis plant); and Denmark and Fryeburg (Poland Spring satellite source and water station).

Mary Semons, a teacher at the Hanson School in Buxton praised the program. “Having our classes participate this year in the Trout in the Classroom program has been a great learning experience for all. Through the monthly interactive lessons led by Poland Spring educators, our students have developed an understanding of ecosystems and have learned to appreciate water resources. The day of release was a wonderful culminating activity.”

Students begin by learning to raise baby trout in incubator tanks in their classroom. This hands-on activity is integrated into lessons about water quality, ecosystems, habitat protection and data collection. The project culminates when students release the fish that they have raised into a local stream. Poland Spring pays for all equipment and materials as well as volunteering significant staff time to the project.

Trout in the Classroom was originally developed by the Portland Water District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited and the Atlantic Salmon Federation. McBean became interested in the idea following a conversation with Lynne Richards of the Portland Water District. According to McBean, “It seemed like a perfect fit for Poland Spring, because we are always looking for opportunities to give back to our communities in a meaningful way. With Trout in the Classroom, we can help raise a generation of kids who care about the environment and understand their impact on water quality.”

Poland Spring funds a range of educational and conservation activities throughout Maine including the LabVenture program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a non-profit program that enables kids from every community in the state to travel to Portland and learn about Maine’s water resources. Since 2000, Poland Spring has given over $2.5 million dollars to local Maine communities and causes.

ABOUT POLAND SPRING: Since 1845, Poland Spring has been using an abundant, renewable resource in Maine. Today, Poland Springoperates three bottling plants in Poland Spring, Hollis and Kingfield. The Kingfield facility, opened in February of this year, represents a $60 million investment and 40+ new jobs in western Maine. Poland Spring also operates satellite spring sources located in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Pierce Pond Township and St. Albans. Today Poland Spring:

  • Employs 800 Maine people across the state
  • Has invested over $439 million in capital in Maine since 1992
  • Provides about $40 million to the economy in payroll
  • Spends over $65 million directly with Maine vendors
  • Has invested over $2.5 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many local and statewide causes.

SOURCE Poland Spring

Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus