Education 

Coosa Riverkeeper works to educate the public about science, water quality issues, and public health threats. This page is filled with opportunities to learn for all ages!

Coosa Kiddos

Presentations

Learning about the Coosa

Welcome to our new Education webpage! This page is where you can deep dive and learn more about the Coosa River! We have information for all ages, so be sure to check it all out!

 

If you are on our social media, you’ve probably seen some of our educational series through the years. Below are all of our series from species to geology to science…. go on and dive in!

Swimmers of the Coosa

Swimmers of the Coosa - Longear Sunfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Channel Catfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Alabama Sturgeon

Swimmers of the Coosa - Redbreast Sunfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Blue Shiner

Swimmers of the Coosa - Striped Bass

Swimmers of the Coosa - White Crappie

Swimmers of the Coosa - Grass Carp

Swimmers of the Coosa - Alligator Gar

Swimmers of the Coosa - Bluegill Sunfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - American Eel

Swimmers of the Coosa - Freshwater Drum

Swimmers of the Coosa - Walleye

Swimmers of the Coosa - Striped Mullet

Swimmers of the Coosa - American Paddlefish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Stippled Studfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Blue Catfish

Swimmers of the Coosa - Common Logperch

Swimmers of the Coosa - Alabama Hog Sucker

Swimmers of the Coosa - Blacktail Redhorse

Swimmers of the Coosa - Chain Pickerel

Critters of the Coosa

Critters of the Coosa - Redeye Bass

Critters of the Coosa - Mayflys/Willowfly

Critters of the Coosa - Great Blue Heron

Critters of the Coosa - Trispot Darter

Critters of the Coosa - Great Egret

Critters of the Coosa - Eastern Box Turtle

Critters of the Coosa - River Cooter

Critters of the Coosa - Bald Eagle

Critters of the Coosa - Alligator Snapping Turtle

Critters of the Coosa - Belted Kingfisher

Critters of the Coosa - Fine-lined Pocketbook

Critters of the Coosa - Raccoon

Critters of the Coosa - Powdered Dancer

Critters of the Coosa - Dragonfly and Damsalfly

Critters of the Coosa - Eastern Pondhawk

Critters of the Coosa - Double-Crested Cormorant

Critters of the Coosa - Six Spotted Fishing Spider

Critters of the Coosa - Water Moccasin

Critters of the Coosa - Painted Rocksnail

Skinny Water Spotlight

Skinny Water Spotlight - Choccolocco Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Choccolocco Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Choccolocco Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Wills Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Wills Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Wills Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Canoe Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Canoe Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Big Canoe Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Hatchet Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Hatchet Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Hatchet Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Waxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Waxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Waxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Black Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Black Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Black Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Yellowleaf Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Yellowleaf Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Yellowleaf Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weogufka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weogufka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weogufka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weoka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weoka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Weoka Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Kelly Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Kelly Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Kelly Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Buxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Buxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Buxahatchee Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Peckerwood Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Peckerwood Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Peckerwood Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Walnut Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Walnut Creek

Skinny Water Spotlight - Walnut Creek

Rock on Rivers

Rock on Rivers - Appalachian Plateau

Rock on Rivers - Appalachian Plateau

Rock on Rivers - Appalachian Plateau

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley (Part 1)

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley (Part 1)

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley (Part 2)

Rock on Rivers - Ridge & Valley (Part 3)

Rock on Rivers - Blue Ridge Outliers

Rock on Rivers - Blue Ridge Outliers

Rock on Rivers - Blue Ridge Outliers (Part 1)

Rock on Rivers - Blue Ridge Outliers (Part 2)

Rock on Rivers - Fall Line Hills

Rock on Rivers - Fall Line Hills

Rock on Rivers - Fall Line Hills

Rock on Rivers - Wetumpka Impact Crater

Rock on Rivers - Wetumpka Impact Crater

Rock on Rivers - Wetumpka Impact Crater

Vegetation Education

Vegetation Education - Alligatorweed

Vegetation Education - Alligatorweed

Vegetation Education - Alligatorweed

Vegetation Education - Wool Grass

Vegetation Education - Wool Grass

Vegetation Education - Wool Grass

Vegetation Education - Yellow Floating Heart

Vegetation Education - Yellow Floating Heart

Vegetation Education - Yellow Floating Heart

Vegetation Education - Water Hyacinth

Vegetation Education - Water Hyacinth

Vegetation Education - Water Hyacinth

Vegetation Education - Fragrant Water Lily

Vegetation Education - Fragrant Water Lily

Vegetation Education - Fragrant Water Lily

Vegetation Education - Parrot Feather

Vegetation Education - Parrot Feather

Vegetation Education - Parrot Feather

Vegetation Education - Square Stem Spikerush

Vegetation Education - Square Stem Spikerush

Vegetation Education - Square Stem Spikerush

Vegetation Education - Wild Taro

Vegetation Education - Wild Taro

Vegetation Education - Wild Taro

Vegetation Education - Rocky Shoal Spider Lily

Vegetation Education - Rocky Shoal Spider Lily

Vegetation Education - Rocky Shoal Spider Lily

River Reads

Looking for your next read? Check these out!

The Riverkeepers - John Cronin

The authors describe their confrontations and eventual triumphs over the electric power industry, Exxon, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other environmental lawbreakers.

Desert Solitare - Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The bookdetails the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man’s stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey’s reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau’s WaldenDesert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life’s mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.

The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan

What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

Why We Swim - Bonnie Tsu

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.

Braiding Sweetgrass - Robin Kimmerer

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson

First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. “Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters” (Peter Matthiessen, for Time”s 100 Most Influential People of the Century). This fortieth anniversary edition celebrates Rachel Carson”s watershed book with a new introduction by the author and activist Terry Tempest Williams and a new afterword by the acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, who tells the story of Carson”s courageous defense of her truths in the face of ruthless assault from the chemical industry in the year following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death in 1964.

The Jungle - Sinclair Upton

The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. Many readers were most concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, based on an investigation he did for a socialist newspaper.

Merle's Door - Ted Kerasote

While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote meets a Labrador mix living on his own in the wild. They become attached to each other, and Kerasote decides to bring the dog, who he names Merle, home. There, after realizing that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world, he installs a dog door in his house, allowing Merle to live both outside and in.

Merle shows Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior, as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine.

Rivers of History - Harvey Jackson

Four streams make up the Alabama River system, the Coosa, Tallapoosa, Cahaba, and Alabama. Together they flow for more than 900 miles, through some of the most historic regions of the state. This book looks at the way these streams have shaped the lives of the people who lived along them, and how, in turn, people have used the rivers to their own ends.

This is the story of the people of the Alabama River system: the Indians, traders, steamboatmen, passengers, slaves, loggers, “deadheaders”, divers, river rats, fishermen, industrial giants, factory workers, business boosters, environmentalists, and those who simply love the rivers because of something that seems to have been a part of them from the first time they saw the water flowing. This is a book for and about these people. They, and the rivers, are the main characters in the story.

Drift on the River - Harold Rozelle

Harold Rozelle spent his childhood roaming the woods and streams near the Coosa River in the Alabama countryside. In 1949, he returned to his boyhood playground and spent a year examining what he felt was the true meaning of life. Many years later, he wrote a novel using the essence of his experiences on the river. It was not until 1984 when he was desperately ill, that his sister, Mary Anne, discovered his manuscript. Her enthusiasm was such that he admitted to her he would like to have it published but had never sent it to a publishing house. Before he died in1985, I promised him that one way or another, I would see that it was published. So here it is, in its beauty of descriptive prose and its strong characterization. PREFACE “I moved them yesterday, all right. I took some shoats over to the ridge and sold them. When I started back, some fellows stopped me and wanted to know would I move Tarbee’s stuff for three dollars. ‘Depends where to,’ I said, and they said at least five miles away. “‘Maybe jest move ’em down to the river,’ they said. We talked it over a while, and they commenced to drag Tarbee’s stuff out of the house and load it in the wagon. Tarbee come out and got in my wagon, but they had to get that boy of his down out of a tree. They give me the three dollars, and I drove off; they said they never wanted to see hide nor hair of Tom Tarbee in them hills again and that both of them ought to be in the asylum. ” “What did Tarbee do?” “Well son, as best as I could figure, Tarbee turned in one or two of them bootleggers over there, and they just moved him out. ” Mr Stubbs nodded, He has a serious look on his face. ‘Yes sir,’ he said, ‘that will sure move a man.'”

Lower Piedmont Country - HC Nixon

A long out-of-print classic, Lower Piedmont Country is set in northeastern Alabama, although the narrative encompasses the region form the Mississippi Delta to the Virginia Tidewater. The book surveys the history, politics, religion, economy (both rural and industrial), and folkways of the hill-country people as the author knew them during the Depression and war years.

Casting Forward - Steve Ramirez

In Casting Forward, naturalist, educator, and writer Steve Ramirez takes the reader on a year-long journey fly-fishing all of the major rivers of the Texas Hill Country.

This is a story of the resilience of nature and the best of human nature. It is the story of a living, breathing place where the footprints of dinosaurs, conquistadors, and Comanches have mingled just beneath the clear spring-fed waters. This book is an impassioned plea for the survival of this landscape and its biodiversity, and for a new ethic in how we treat fish, nature, and each other.

Alabama Canoe Rides - John Foshee

John Foshee’s popular and informative Alabama Canoe Rides and Float Trips has been a favorite of canoeing enthusiasts since 1975, providing a detailed guide to 102 canoe trips on the Cahaba River and 40 other creeks and rivers within the state. The trips highlighted in the book range from 3½ to 14 miles in length, with difficulty factors varying from leisurely float trips to Class 4 rapids.

This handy guide will assist beginning and expert canoeists in the selection of and preparation for a variety of float experiences. The author gives suggestions for river safety and makes recommendations for equipment. In addition, he points out major danger areas and obstacles that may be encountered and includes information on river access and use of topographical maps. An appendix contains brief descriptions of the rides, including their put-ins and take-outs, and follows the general format of the individual trip descriptions.

Okefenokee Album - Francis Harper

Based on the photographs and writings of Francis Harper, a naturalist who visited the Okefinokee Swamp repeatedly between 1912 and 1951, Okefinokee Album recalls life in the “land of trembling earth” before the outside world encroached in the 1940s. Filled with profiles of the swamp dwellers, their wisdom, superstitions, songs, stories, and folkways, as well as a wealth of information about the natural history of the swamp, Okefinokee Album richly documents a vanished age and the heritage of a remarkable people.

Coyote America - Dan Flores

The New York Times best-selling account of how coyotes–long the target of an extermination policy–spread to every corner of the United States Finalist for thePEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award “A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation.”Wall Street Journal Legends don’t come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote. In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn’t just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York City and Maine and beyond. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time.

The Secret Network of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things - Peter Wohlleben

Nature is full of surprises: deciduous trees affect the rotation of the Earth, cranes sabotage the production of Iberian ham, and coniferous forests can make it rain. But what are the processes that drive these incredible phenomena? And why do they matter?

In The Secret Wisdom of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world’s most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes.

The Boy Scout Handbook - William Hillcourt

Thumb Index to Major Sections: Advancement, Camping, Citizenship, Communications, Community, Cooking, Family, First Aid, Hiking, Nature, Scouting. Axmanship, Backpacking, Birds, Camping, Citizenship, Cooking, Edible Wild Plants, Fire Building, First aid, Fish, Flags, Flowers, Hiking, Insects, Knot Tying, Lashings, Mammals, Map and Compass, Measurement, Morse Code, Reptiles, Semaphore, Sign Language, Silent signals, Stalking, Stars, Swimming, Tracking and Trailing, Trees, Weather

The River That Made Seattle - BJ Cummings

With bountiful salmon and fertile plains, the Duwamish River has drawn people to its shores over the centuries for trading, transport, and sustenance. Chief Se’alth and his allies fished and lived in villages here and white settlers established their first settlements nearby. Industrialists later straightened the river’s natural turns and built factories on its banks, floating in raw materials and shipping out airplane parts, cement, and steel. Unfortunately, the very utility of the river has been its undoing, as decades of dumping led to the river being declared a Superfund cleanup site.

Using previously unpublished accounts by Indigenous people and settlers, BJ Cummings’s compelling narrative restores the Duwamish River to its central place in Seattle and Pacific Northwest history. Writing from the perspective of environmental justice―and herself a key figure in river restoration efforts―Cummings vividly portrays the people and conflicts that shaped the region’s culture and natural environment. She conducted research with members of the Duwamish Tribe, with whom she has long worked as an advocate. Cummings shares the river’s story as a call for action in aligning decisions about the river and its future with values of collaboration, respect, and justice.

Coosa Kiddos

Scroll through our downloadable resources for kids and our kids reading recomendations!

Chirpers of the Coosa

Download this coloring book to learn more about native bird and plant species in the Coosa Valley and how to create your own backyard bird oasis! Thank you to Alabama Audubon for sponsoring this coloring book!

Swim Guide Coloring Page

Color the stoplight to know if it is safe to swim! The Coosa River Swim Guide program is from Memorial Day to mid-September at 50 popular swimming holes! Learn more at CoosaRiver.org/SwimGuide!

Coosa Riverkeeper Activity Book

Download this coloring book to learn more about Coosa Riverkeeper, the Riverkeeper, Swim Guide, and Fish Guide programs, Alabama’s incredible biodiversity, science & conservation, and more! 

River Reads

Is your kiddo looking for their next read? Check these out!

We are Water Protectors - Carol Lindstrom

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruptiona bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Water is the first medicine.
It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

A River - Marc Martin

There’s a river outside my window. Where will it take me?

So begins the imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window: a vast river winding through a towering city. A small boat with a single white sail floats down the river and takes her from factories to farmlands, freeways to forests, out to the stormy and teeming depths of the ocean, and finally back to the comforts—and inspirations—of home. This lush, immersive book by award-winning picture book creator Marc Martin will delight readers of all ages by taking them on a transcendent and aspirational journey through an imaginative landscape.

Once Upon Another Time - Charles Ghigna

Once upon another time, the world was young and new. If you want to know this world, there’s something you can do…With sweeping landscapes and up-close details of the natural world, Once Upon Another Time takes readers through a lyrical exploration of the world as it was before humans made their mark. Contrasting the past with the present, this expansive picture book serves as a warm invitation for children–and all people–to appreciate, explore, and protect the magic and wonder of this planet we call home.

Want Coosa Riverkeeper to come talk to your class or group?