Special thanks to 2022 Youth Program sponsors, Truist!

About Hydro Hands-On!

Catawba Riverkeeper’s Hydro Hands-On! (H2O!) program connects students to the Catawba-Wateree River through hands-on environmental education.

H2O! allows kids to explore how and why water is used in the Catawba River Basin in order to encourage environmental stewardship to further efforts in the preservation of the 225-mile-long Catawba-Wateree River and her lakes, streams, and creeks.  We facilitate learning through environmental education by bringing kids closer to the wild places and wild things that depend on the Catawba-Wateree River by putting this environment within reach. 

Our H2O! lessons correlate with North Carolina Essential Standards (South Carolina Common Core coming soon!) and explore human interactions with the river (past and present), plants, animals, and ecology that make this freshwater system so unique.  By incorporating a service learning component in every program (Power Clean), Hydro Hands-On! exhibits the positive impact humans can have on the Catawba River environments showcased in our lessons. 

H2O! Academic Year Field Trips

The following outdoor, environmental education lessons are offered Fall semester from September – October and Spring semester from March – May:

Beaver Tales – Students will investigate how and why beavers build dams and change the course of rivers, then compare how and why humans do the same to meet the needs of millions of residents in the Catawba river basin. 

Incredible Journey – Students will explore the water cycle and learn how the power of the sun energizes the entire process.  As an imaginary rain drop, students will get a front row seat to how water is used by plants, animals, people, and industries in the Catawba river basin. 

Food Web in the Catawba – Ever wondered if everything is connected?  We will explore the connections that aquatic (and some terrestrial) plants and animals have to each other and find out who eats what for lunch! 

Can I Drink It? –  Students will discuss water quality and the science behind how we get drinking water from the Catawba River and where it goes after we use it.  Student will begin this exploration by testing their own water samples from the Catawba River. 

Power Clean –  Students will get first-hand knowledge of a major pollutant that negatively affects the Catawba River; Trash.  During this service learning opportunity, students will learn about the Catawba River by interacting with it and working to clean it up.   By helping, students will be able to see, instantly, the positive impact they can each have on the health and well-being of the river. 

Interested in Booking?

Outdoor and indoor field trip options that come to your classroom are available!

All program fees vary based on lesson option, length of program, number of students, and location. Scholarships are available upon request.

To learn more about H2O pricing, scholarships, and to schedule a program for your school or group, contact:

Morgan Long, Education Manager

Other Environmental Education Resources:

What to learn more about the Catawba River Basin?  Now?!  Check out the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs River Basin Program!

Learn more about the the humans, history, plants and animals that have shaped the Catawba River Basin here: Catawba River StoryMap

Do I live in the Catawba River Basin?  Check our Basin Explorer map to find out!