Duck River Essay

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I have recently visited Henry Horton State Park! It was so interesting to learn about the Duck River and everything and everyone to help protect it.

Do I live in a watershed? The answer is yes because everyone lives in a watershed. Water sources can easily get polluted and we don’t want that because we use the Duck River for drinking, food, cleaning and so much more. But, the question is what happens if something is polluted and we don’t know where it comes from to stop it? Well theres a solution and it’s called “Point source pollution” If the water is polluted they can trace back exactly where it came so they can stop it. Anything could end up in the Duck River so we have to be very careful because I’m pretty sure you don’t want sludge in your water!

How much water do I use a day?

An average home uses 5,000 gallons per month. Also, 28 million gallons per day are taken out of the Duck River for daily uses. We have to learn to be resourceful with our water. What are some ways we can do that? We cans top taking 20 minute showers, leave water running while brushing our teeth, etc. There is only so much water in the world. 97% of the world’s water is salty and undrinkable, 2% of a water is in ice glaciers and what’s sad is that 1% is for healthy drinking so think of how much water you probably use a day and compare it to that 1%. I bet that makes you second all that water you use a day.

Recycling is way way more important than you think. Recycling does not only reuse items to make new ones but they are protecting our waters. Anything plastic, glass, paper and cardboard can be recycled but they end up in landfills and it takes up to 1,000 years for a milk jug to decompose. Things that end up in landfills in TN will end up in creeks then the Mississippi River then travels to the ocean and kill sea creatures. There is said that in the year 2050 there will be more trash in the ocean than fish.

There is a lot of history that led up to Henry Horton State Park so we’ll take a small trip to the past. In 1892 a bridge that was built using logs that spread across the Duck River got wiped out because of the great flood and if you go today and the water is low you could still see the small bases. Now we are going to travel even farther all the way to 1845. Adeline Wilhoite lived in TN with two sons named John and Jacob and they had no father. In 1861 they bought 110 acres of land and John and Jacob to fight in the Civil War. Unfortunately John passed away but Jacob safely returned home. Jacob soon had a daughter and named her Adeline after his mother. Soon Adeline married a man named “Henry Horton” and you’re probably thinking why is he so important well he soon became governor and they named the state park after him.

While I was at Henry Horton State Park we did a little science!

What is turbidity? Turbidity measures water clarity. So we had a small tube full of water the tube is placed over a circle that is a greyish color. Then there was a scale and the colors represented a number. A low number meant the water was clear a high number meant the water was cloudy. When we did this experiment we got a 60 and it was measured in “JTU”. (The water was from the Duck River). Then they asked “Do you think this is a good turbidity” in my opinion I think it was okay because 60 is close to halfway but not quite.

Are mussels important? Yes, there are known as indicator species that means they filter our water. Mussels rely on a “one cell organism”. Mussels start as microscopic cells then they soon grow a hardened exterior. When a grain of sand gets stuck in a mussel it soon grows calcium over it and it turns into a pearl. Mussels suck in water then filter it then they release it.

I’ve learned so much more and I want to tell you but I have too much to fit on paper. There is so much you can do at Henry Horton State Park and the “Duck River” and you should go sometime like now I’m serious why are you still reading, go!

Photo submitted

Each year, the Friends of Henry Horton State Park hold an essay contest for Marshall County 5th graders who have attended the group’s Duck River education day. Sophia Landolfi from Delk-Henson Intermediate School is this year’s Marshall County winner. Her essay is printed below.

Fifth graders from Marshall County have spent a day learning about the importance of the Duck River for years now, and the Friends have begun expanding the program to other counties in the river’s watershed.

Presenting the award are, from left: Ryan Jenkins, Park Manager Henry Horton State Park, Dee Stewart, member of Friends of Henry Horton State Park, Mrs. Tara Stacey, 5th grade teacher, Delk-Henson Intermediate School, Sophia Landolfi, winner of the 5th grade Essay Contest, Suzie Comstock, Vice-President of Friends of Henry Horton State Park, Julia Lee, Park Ranger, and Shaun Rainone, Park Ranger.