Swimming free

Students at Asheville’s Francine Delany New School for Children got an up-close look at local water quality during their final month of classes, thanks to a hands-on lesson that culminated with a trout release.

With guidance from the Buncombe County Soil and Water Department, funding from the Pigeon River Fund and a trout donation from the Pisgah Hatchery, students got to watch brook trout grow in classroom tanks while they did the work of investigating the ideal location to set the fish free. Basing their study on the aquatic life found in three different area waterways, the eighth graders chose Ledges Park on the French Broad River as the ideal habitat for releasing their brook trout.

On May 26, the students gathered at the park to send their brookies off into the wild. And at the end of the week, the eighth graders graduated. “I had many of them say it was the best thing they’ve done all year,” says Lindsey Hogan, a science teacher.

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

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