Angelo Gaccione organized a trip for his Belleville High School Environmental Science class to DeKorte Park last week to participate in a cleanup and enhancement program.
The class consisting of juniors and seniors recently won a science competition created by Gaccione for their extaordinary model of a watershed.
The goal of the project was to build a city that illustrated how point and non-point pollution affected a waterway. Three different classes involved in the competition were given a 2-by-4 foot piece of plywood and were asked to show how seven non-point pollution sources and three point pollution sources affect a waterway. Each class formed sub groups to work on smaller portions of their city – they even had a mountain stream recirculating into a pond!
At DeKorte the students, under the suprevision of NJSEA Senior Natural Resources Program Specialist Gabrielle Bennett-Meany, first removed debris along the edge of the marsh off the Lyndhurst Nature Reserve Trail.
Gaby explains: “Storms and tides can have a detrimental effect on our small shoreline areas in the park. Many of these places have been restored with some native vegetation. In the last couple of years storms and high tides have brought in flotsam and eroded sensitive areas. The students removed the debris by hand and with the use of rakes.”
Next the class worked in the Sept. 11 Memorial Cove Area, assisting with a bank stabilization project to help prevent the marsh edge from erosion. They formed a rock edge near the upland portion of the garden that will help prevent the water and waves from battering the flowers and grasses planted there.
Many thanks to the Belleville High School Environmental Science class students for their hard work in helping the park environment!