On Saturday, September 7th, over 30 community members from around Letcher County gathered for a workshop in Whitesburg, where they learned the basics of water testing, gained hands-on experience by testing water in nearby streams, and learned how our health is tied the health of our water.
AMI interns Ellie Hogg and Jade Slone kicked the training off with a screening of their 2012 film Before It’s Too Late, a documentary piece that provides a picture of the water pollution issues being dealt with in Letcher county, and the human impacts this pollution can cause. After the film was over, the interns answered questions and talked to the group about the importance of using media to get the word out about important issues people are facing. The film was a great start to a day of learning and growth for an entire cross-section of the community.
These workshops are part of the ongoing Community Science and Public Health project, which works to equip people with the skills and knowledge to gather data about the quality of our streams and to use that data to advocate for better enforcement of current laws designed to protect our land and water.
Through the hands-on community water testing workshops, participants are not only learning how to test water and the importance of clean water, but they are building community with each other and their community.
“We all deserve to know what’s in our water. We’ve got to be talking to each other about our water and communities. We’ve got to be solving our problems together and sharing information,” said Clair Stines a retired nurse from Loyall.
You can watch the 2012 AMI Film Before It’s Too Late right here: