SOUTH MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- For several months, students at a high school in Schuylkill County raised trout in the classroom. On Tuesday, those students said goodbye and released the fish into the wild.
It was a pleasant day to be outside and experience nature at the Schuylkill County Fairgrounds in South Manheim Township, a day some biology students from Schuylkill Haven High School have been looking forward to for a while.
"I think that it made them more appreciative of natural life and all of the stages it goes through, and then understanding why it's important that we help this natural life and get them back into their natural ecosystems," said biology teacher Kaye Schwenk.
Since receiving these brook trout eggs in November, Schwenk's students raised the school of fish in her classroom at the high school. The students said goodbye to their fish friends on Tuesday, releasing 90 trout into a stream on the fairgrounds.
"It was a mixture of emotions because we worked really hard to keep these brook trout alive. I had great help from the students. They almost became part of our family," Schwenk said.
"I learned the effectiveness that trout have in the community, in their natural habitat, how important they are to live. I learned the different stages that they grow up in and the different types there can be," said senior Jacob Luckenbill.
Students also planted trees thanks to a donation from PPL, took nature walks, and learned how to fly fish. This was all part of the high school's first Environment Day.
"It just shows that we have to care more about our wildlife if we want it to be in our future, and hopefully, it will be," senior Bella Bernitsky said.
"It brings awareness to our high school students with the environment," said Schuylkill Haven Principal Matt Horoschak. "It really creates an awareness for them to understand where the environment is and where it's headed."