Video: Stockton Students Begin Environmental Program in Bridgeton City Park

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BRIDGETON, N.J. – On Tuesday, Stockton University environmental studies students began a project at Bridgeton City Park that is partnered with the city.
After Bridgeton’s Sunset Lake was emptied and then refilled following Hurricane Irene, the water quality in the area had suffered, leaving local officials with important questions.
“How can we improve the lake? Improve the water quality? So we can allow recreational swimming here again," said Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly.
And now a partnership between the city and Stockton University, hopes to answer those questions while also giving students practical hands-on experience.
“We were asked if we’d be interested in having an outdoor classroom space, where we could really put to use, the stuff that we learn in our classrooms, and I thought it would be a great idea for our senior environmental studies students,” said Emma Witt, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Stockton.
The environmental studies students began their first day of field research on Tuesday, as they gathered information to later study, analyze, and give solutions for how Bridgeton City Park can be improved.
“These young men and women are working with the latest technology, the latest thinking in their field, the latest equipment, and best practices, so we get that benefit,” said Kevin Rabago, the Director of Development and Planning in Bridgeton.
As soon as the students arrived, they immediately grabbed their equipment and made their way out to the lake to begin their first day of research, which in the end will be benefitting both the Stockton University students and the city of Bridgeton.
“I mean, it’s pretty fun, we haven’t actually gotten off site to do studies like this, we get to do a lot of things on campus, but it’s interesting, and it’s really rewarding to come out and be able to help a community,” said Michael Carman, a senior at Stockton.
At the end of their semester, the students will present their findings to the city, and give advice on how they can make adjustments to improve their zoo, wildlife, parks, and make the water in Sunset Lake swimmable again.
“To have those folks come into Bridgeton, and to help us, and to impact the community, it just benefits everyone. I love the concept, I think it’s great,” said Rabago.