Duck River essay winner announced

Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Delk-Henson student Emalee Stokes was presented with a certificate for her winning essay on the Duck River and what she learned during the Friends of Henry Horton State Park education day at the river. Presenting the award are (from left): Henry Horton State Park Rangers Shawn Rainone, Tommy Garner, Ryan Jenkins, Stokes, Stacey Cothran and Susie Comstock from FOHH, and DHIS Principal Robert Reasonover.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

The Duck River is an often overlooked jewel in Marshall County.

The Friends of Henry Horton State Park have sponsored an education day for 5th graders in Marshall County for years now to make the river more than a feature over which they drive every day.

Marshall County 5th graders spend a day at the river in the fall learning about the many ways that the river is important for them.

Students then write essays about what they have learned about the river.

Emalee Stokes, a 5th grader at Delk-Henson Intermediate School in Chapel Hill, was selected as the winner of this yearís essay contest about the Duck River.

The Duck is the source of the majority of the drinking water for the entire county, serves as a recreational and tourist draw for the region, and is an ecological marvel.

The river is often cited as the most diverse, biologically, in North America. Scientists discovered a previously unknown fish species in the river just this year.

The FOHH started the Duck River education program several years ago for students in Chapel Hill and have expanded to include all of the county 5th graders.

The Friends of Henry Horton hope to expand Duck River Day in the future to include students from every county in the Duck River watershed.

Stokesí essay is reprinted below.

We went on a field trip and learned all about the Duck River. There were 10 stations to go to. They were all full of facts that Iíve never known about. The Duck River is the most diverse river. Itís filled with so many different wonders.

The Duck River water shed is 2,800 square miles. All the water that you use goes down the drain into the river. Before the waste water pump water to your house they put activation liquid in the water to purify it so we can use it. They take in 2 million gallons a day.

Duck River mussels are so cool. There are 56 different types of mussels in the Duck River. Here are some of them. Wavy rayed lamp, purple wartyback, three ridge, pink foot splinter. Mussels are very fun and interesting. They filter our water.

The Duck River has so many insects. Bugs are great indicators to test water. Oil, dirt, gas and fertilizer are bad when they fall in the water. It pollutes the river. The river travels 284 miles. It is the biggest river in TN. Itís mostly free flowing over 500 species.

Those are the main things I learned about the Duck River. The Duck River is so beautiful. Itís right here in Chapel Hill. The day we went to learn about the Duck River, it was so interesting and cool! So tell me do you like our river?