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Website shows kids historical, economic and ecological importance of rivers

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[NOV. 17, 2005]  URBANA -- Illinois fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders and their teachers now have an interesting way to learn about the history and economic importance of America's rivers, courtesy of a new University of Illinois Extension website. "The All-Star River Explorers" site is located at on the Urban Programs Resource Network.

"These new Web pages are designed to help children understand the importance of rivers; how they are formed and have changed over time; as well as the economic, cultural and recreational roles they play," said Jane Scherer, U of I Extension urban programming specialist.

"Students also learn about the early North American explorers -- like Marquette, Champlain, LaSalle, Hudson, and Lewis and Clark -- all of whom used rivers to make their discoveries."

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The site is divided into sections -- "River Basics"; "River Dollars & Sense"; "All-Star River Explorers Hall of Fame"; "River Management: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly"; and "Ooze, Goo and Other Nasty Things." The latter section includes information on river pollution and the threat invasive fish and plant species post to river health.

The site was designed by Duane Friend, U of I Extension natural resource management educator, and Greg Stack, U of I Extension horticulture educator.

[University of Illinois Extension news release]

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