Meadowside students raise trout that will be released at Earth Day event Saturday

On Saturday, May 11, students from Meadowside Elementary School will be releasing approximately 100 brown trout into the Wepawaug River at Eisenhower Park in Milford.

The trout release serves as the culminating event of a science lesson that has been conducted at the school since November and coincides with Milford’s 8th Annual Earth Day celebration. The public is welcome to attend.

Robert Davis, principal, and Hope Pardee, a fifth grade teacher at the school, will be meeting students, their families and Earth Day volunteers at the Wepawaug River release site within Eisenhower Park in Milford.

Students have raised the trout from eggs delivered to their school in November. A special 55-gallon cold water tank was purchased with funds donated by the Meadowside PTA and set up with help from the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Students have had frequent opportunities since November to observe the fish hatch and to monitor their growth. A periodic newsletter was published to keep all Meadowside students informed of the growth and progress of the fish.

Michele Smith, a third grade teacher, said, “My class looks forward to observing the trout every week and keeping notes in their science notebooks. It has been great to watch their excitement each time we see the trout.”

Meadowside received the eggs from a hatchery run by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in November and students have been watching their progress since then.

The program, known nationally as Trout in the Classroom, is operated locally by the Nutmeg chapter of Trout Unlimited, a not-for-profit group that provides volunteers and equipment to teachers like Pardee.

This year, the seven fifth grade classes at Meadowside School had the opportunity take care of the fish.

Zoe O’Neil, a student in Celine Sandor’s fifth grade class, said, “I was very happy that I was able to take care of the fish and test their water because it taught me about the delicate balance of life.”

Chris Lill, a student in Jason Cicero’s science class said, “One thing I learned about taking care of the trout is that trout need cold, dark places to make them feel safe from predators.”

The trout release marks a celebration of the second successful year of this environmental education program at Meadowside School.