The zoom Data Interpretation meeting on April 4th, 2020 with the Johnston’s Run Revitalization volunteer monitoring group was bittersweet for me in my final days as a Watershed Coordinator at ALLARM. As the first group I helped to train when I joined ALLARM, Johnston’s Run holds a special place in my mind and heart. This meeting was the perfect way to complete the full circle of my ALLARM experience.
The volunteers have come a long way since creating their own study design, and now have two full years worth of chemical volunteer monitoring data! ALLARM was very impressed with how consistently these volunteers collected their samples and we were excited to have a discussion with them about what their data meant. I could tell that the volunteers were thinking critically about their results and how to move forward with the information. It was satisfying to be able to see seasonal and upstream/downstream trends within their data, especially given the strange rainfall patterns over the past two years.
As expected of most spring-fed, limestone streams in rural areas, stormwater is a high concern for the health of the stream. With a new farm owner in town, the team has hopes of a positive community relationship where measures can be taken to increase riparian buffers along the sides of the stream. The Johnston’s Run volunteers were also concerned about biological threats to recreational use of the stream, and are considering measuring another parameter to gauge the stream health. Decisions around further monitoring and community outreach will be discussed at a near future meeting.
I am so proud to have worked with these volunteers the past three years I’ve been at ALLARM, and I know that they will find the answers they are looking for if they continue to approach their questions with vigor and compassion. I would also like to thank Suzzane Hartley and Jinnie Monismith for all of their hard work in preparation of the meeting and for being inspirational female scientists. I have learned so much from you both! ALLARM has given so many amazing opportunities like this one, and although it is with a heavy heart that I write my final blog post, I am incredibly grateful for everything the ALLARM organization and the ALLARM family has given me.