The West Virginia Botanical Garden in Morgantown is full of a variety of organisms and plants, and they all thrive on water. That water was the focus of a citizens science class Sunday afternoon.
The class explored the water systems in the approximately 85-acre garden. Participants sampled the water and ran a variety of tests to determine the quality.
Janet Paladino, course instructor, said testing water allows us to protect water systems and determine if there are problems present.
"Lots of people are concerned with water problems today and drinking water problems," she said. "And there's not a lot of testing going on that allows people to know exactly [what's coming out of their faucet."]
Plus, Paladino said there aren't enough researches to test all bodies of water. Concerned citizens are encouraged to test their local water using inexpensive test kits that can easily be found online.
Some of the botanical garden test results showed signs of acid mine drainage and sewage. Ellen Hrabovsky, longtime botanical garden volunteer, said it's important for all of us to do our part in protecting the environment.
"We all live on this same planet and trashing it is not to anybody's benefit," said Hrabovsky.
The garden hosts a variety of classes and has a lot to offer.
Hrabovsky encourages everyone to stop by.
"It's a wonderful place to take a walk in the peaceful forest. Bring a picnic. Bring your kids. Bring your dogs. As long as they're leashed, the dogs - not the kids," Hrabovsky said.
And of course treat those water systems with care.
To find out how you can take a similar class or just to learn more about the garden visit its website.