New IRU program aims to empower students

A new Idaho Rivers United program will show students they can make a difference in their local communities and for their local rivers.

IRU Conservation Associate Ava Isaacson started working this month with students at Riverstone International, a private school in the Boise Valley. Along with Isaacson’s help they’ll research ways to minimize their impacts on the Boise River.

Students will first examine water quality on their campus to address runoff from the school parking lot. They’ll also investigate sources of the school’s water in an effort to minimize the amount drawn from the river.

The semester-long project began last week when Isaacson gave a presentation to Riverstone’s fifth and second graders. Isaacson explained the basics of water quality and quantity to ignite interest and initiate a dialogue.

Riverstone teachers Trevor Lindsay and Britt Thorpe will now organize water quality testing with their fifth and second graders, as well as an inventory of campus water uses to establish a baseline from which to implement a water conservation campaign.

Going forward, Isaacson will work with IRU member and Riverstone Sustainability Coordinator Ben Brock to advise students how to interpret the data they collect and implement next steps to engage even more students in the Treasure Valley.

“I felt inspired when a fifth grade girl said she was concerned about the health of the Boise River and wanted to get involved,” Isaacson said. “I’m excited to help empower students in the Treasure Valley to get involved in their community and make a difference for the natural environment.”