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LCC students clean up, sample Adkin Branch

Education, Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on March 23rd, 2023

Students line the bank of Adkin Branch as Neuse Riverkeeper Sam Krop talks to them about the importance of urban waterways.

Lenoir Community College students went sampling on Adkin Branch in Kinston this week, part of their coursework for their Principles of Biology class.

Led by Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop and LCC Chemistry and Biology professor Dr. Maria Messner, the group was introduced to water sampling at two sites on Adkin Branch: its headwaters on the north end of town and near the Holloway Recreation Center downtown.

A success clean-up on the Adkin Branch by students of Dr. Maria Messner’s Principals of Biology class.

“We were sampling for bacteria, nutrients — just trying to a get a sense of the health of that waterway, considering its location downtown and a tributary of the Neuse River,” Sam said. “Basically, we were having the ‘Why do urban waterways matter?’ conversation.”

The sampling was a repeat of that done by Messner’s class last semester.

“We’re doing it each term, so every three months. The idea is to keep it consistent with the locations and get a baseline dataset that can speak to the health of the stream,” Sam said.

It’s also an opportunity to forge a connection between the students and their surrounding nature.

“It’s a way to reconnect community members with this waterway, and adopt and care for that creek,” she said.

While the students did pick up creekside trash with pickers in an impromptu clean-up, there is a greater opportunity to engage some litter-pick-’er-uppers: Adkin Branch is a potential site for Sound Rivers’ Kinston Trash Trout. Should it be selected, Sam said she hopes to enlist classes to help clean it out.

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