Guadalupe River Field Trip - Oct. 17, 2003

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A journey up the Guadalupe
Students trace river from mouth to dam in marathon field trip
Copyright 2002 San Antonio Express-News.All rights reserved.
by J. Michael Short/Special to the Express-News
© J. Michael Short photo  
PORT LAVACA, TX October 18, 2021 - A group of students from a Texas coastal community got a firsthand look Friday at where their water comes from, traveling along 150 miles of the Guadalupe River from its mouth to Canyon Lake in a marathon field trip.

The students stopped at the salt water barrier near the mouth of the river, then at Victoria, Gonzales, Seguin, Comal Springs in New Braunfels and finally Canyon Dam, learning as they went. Organized by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, the field trip featured presentations along the way by park rangers and biologists.

"I thought this trip was going to be boring, but it's gotten better and better," said eighth-grader Victoria Moreno, one of 25 students who made the trip, as she emerged from the wading pool at Landa Park in New Braunfels, which is fed by Comal Springs. "We learned where our water comes from and stuff."

The students left Travis Middle School in Port Lavaca at 7 a.m. and were scheduled to get back at around 9 p.m. The students were all from the Science and Spanish Club, said Gulf of Mexico Foundation Project Coordinator Richard Gonzales.

The project works with students from a network of Gulf Coast schools in the United States and Mexico, who share information and address environmental concerns. Besides field trips like Friday's "A River to Discover," the program organizes beach and campsite cleanups and educational programs.

"The reason for the Science and Spanish Club mix is to use a multicultural approach to environmental education with a focus on the Gulf of Mexico," Gonzales said. "The goal is to establish a ring around the Gulf of Mexico."

The students filmed the field trip and will share the information with other clubs through a Web site they will build.

"I hope they gain an appreciation for the river basin, from the Hill Country streams to the marsh as it feeds into the bay," said Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, education coordinator for the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, who traveled with the students for much of the day.

Many of the club members speak English as a second language, said teacher Maggie Hernandez. She said the club helps them learn English and helps the English-speaking students learn Spanish, while teaching all about the environment and science.

"These are kids who probably don't participate in any other extracurricular activities, so they really enjoy it," she said.

Read this article online in the San Antonio Express-News archives.