Bright sun, bighorn sheep and a giant dam greeted students from Littleton’s Euclid Middle School this fall as they stepped outside the classroom for a one-of-a-kind field trip up Waterton Canyon with Denver Water’s Youth Education team.
“We love taking kids up to our dams and reservoirs,” said Matt Bond, Youth Education manager at Denver Water. “There’s so much to see that really helps them understand where their water comes from.”
The trip began at the mouth of Waterton Canyon, where kids got a chance to see the land change from dry plains to a forested canyon. As the sixth graders traveled up the 6.5-mile canyon road, they got a chance to see the South Platte River and several bighorn sheep.
Their bus rolled up to Strontia Springs Dam, which stands 243 feet above the river and is surrounded by steep cliffs.
“I really liked seeing the dam and the river,” said Josie, a sixth grade student at Euclid. “It’s cool because the river goes right through Littleton where we live.”
The Youth Education team visits about 170 schools throughout the year across Denver Water’s service area, which includes the city of Denver and several suburbs including Littleton.
“We enjoy meeting kids from our suburban schools,” Bond said. “Many of them don’t realize that their water actually comes from Denver Water.”
Science teacher Luke Kunze said water is an important part of the educational curriculum at Euclid.
“As soon as they saw the dam, they asked ‘What is it?’ and ‘What does it do?,’” Kunze said. “They started asking good science questions about the dam and water, so it was great to see.”
The visit included lessons about the Continental Divide, Waterton Canyon’s connection to wildlife, and how Denver Water delivers water to a quarter of the state’s population.
“We want kids to understand their role in the world when it comes to water,” Bond said. “They’re customers now and could be the water leaders of tomorrow, so it’s important they understand the importance of water here in Colorado.”