A recent community service project provided seventh graders from Ryan Gloyer Middle School (RGMS) the opportunity to work with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to build 40 fish habitats for Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park.
In 2019, RGMS science teacher Matt Durst reached out to Mike Shaffer, environmental education specialist at Moraine and McConnells Mill state parks, to ask him about possible service projects that his seventh graders could participate in at the park. Shaffer had the idea of connecting the students with the PA Fish and Boat Commission to build the fish habitats that would be placed in Lake Arthur.
The team of RGMS teachers Michael Conlon, Lauren Hackett, Dr. Ashley Pile, Jessica Phillips, John Roman, Durst and team guidance counselor, Jennifer North, worked together to make this service project happen again this year. The students and teachers were both excited to reconnect with the PA Fish and Boat Commission to resume their work on the fish habitats after a two-year hiatus from field trips due to the safety precautions of the pandemic.
“This project has given our students a meaningful connection to this local state park,” said Durst. “Moraine State Park is just a few minutes from our school district and our students have the opportunity to not only discover the park itself but make a positive impact there that benefits the lake and those wishing to fish there. We’re teaching them to be good stewards of the environment.”
The structures built by students will begin to grow algae, which will then attract insects, baitfish and eventually larger game fish to the waters of Lake Arthur.