SOUTH PARK (KDKA) — The waters of Peters Creek pass through a quiet corner of South Park as four Baldwin-Whitehall school buses roll into a nearby parking lot.
Sixth graders from Harrison Middle School are about to release more than 200 baby trout, raised in a classroom aquarium.
Science teacher Mike Bilbie leads his class, carrying a bucket of fish, down to the water’s edge.
“They’re going to go into their next stage of life,” he says, as a student tips the bucket into the creek.
The teacher says his class learned how to raise the fish from eggs.
“Taking a lot of different water samples and things like that is very important,” he said. “We’ve been checking the water quality twice daily, making sure that everything’s okay. We really did not have a high death rate, which is great.”
Sponsored by Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fishing and Boating Commission, kids learn the importance of keeping our streams and rivers clean.
“If the streams aren’t clean and the fish die, then we won’t be able to have fish anymore, and that’s a big part of our ecosystem,” says sixth grader Mia Fischetti.
Harrison teacher Bill Burns was in high school when a group called Family Tyes took him and other students fishing in Montana.
“Now, being a teacher in the district,” he says, “I’ve had the privilege over the years to help instil in them the things that Family Tyes and Baldwin instilled in me years ago.”