|| October 27, 2008
|| Pat Kirschbaum,
SSWM Outreach and Education Specialist
It's a Dirty Job...But Someone's Got to Do It!
Local school children to survey pet owner habits
(Port Orchard, WA) – Will people pick up after their dogs if encouraged? This is what second and third graders in Julie Eathorne’s class at Emerald Heights Elementary School in Silverdale want to know. Her students are working with Kitsap County Public Works’ Surface and Stormwater Management Program in a research project at Island Lake County Park. The goal is to see if people will pick up after their dogs when there are signs reminding them to do so.
During the project students are counting and flagging piles of dog waste along the paved pathway at the park once a month through March. Public Works staff are taking photos and picking up the waste after each survey. After the December survey, signs will be installed at strategic locations identified by the students’ surveys. Students will continue to survey in January, February, and March to see if there is a difference in the number of piles before and after the signs are installed. Teacher Julie Eathorne is excited about the project. “This project enables the students to learn the scientific method while applying it to a real-life situation.”
The first survey, conducted in October, documented over 100 piles of dog waste along the path. Dog waste is not just a messy annoyance. Bacteria from dog waste can wash into local streams and waterways, contributing to higher bacteria levels in the water. Kitsap County Public Works Surface and Stormwater Management staff is hoping this project will shed light on the issue, and give people another reason to clean up after their pets, even in areas “off the beaten path”.
For more information about this and other water quality-related programs, visit
or contact The Open Line at 360-337-5777.
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