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Aboard the Living Lands and Waters floating classroom in Hennepin and participating in an interactive lesson with Illinois Valley Community College geology instructor Mike Phillips (from front left) are Alex Perez, Cristian Lara, Guillermo Bautista and Ana Madrigal. NewsTribune photo/Craig Sterrett
The Living Lands and Waters floating recycling barge and floating classroom includes the classroom and living-quarters barge, a tire-recycling barge, a crane barge and garbage barge and is pushed by a towboat covered in river-related murals. Big companies such as ADM, Cargill and Caterpillar support the recycling and education effort of the Quad Cities-based nonprofit organization.
A Quad Cities-based nonprofit river cleanup and environmental group, Living Lands and Waters, had its floating classroom in Hennepin on Thursday, and it turned into a “teachable moment” for a DePue High School environmental science class that came aboard for the day.
Mike Phillips, geology professor at Illinois Valley Community College, substituted for a Living Lands and Waters teacher after lunch and was getting the class involved in an interactive lesson in which they learned about fine silica sand, the mining practice of fracturing and an imaginary (but locally-familiar) sand-mining proposal near the Illinois River.
The Living Lands and Waters vessel includes a towboat, tire-recycling barge, garbage barge, scrap-metal barge, crane barge and classroom barge that also includes a galley and living quarters for 10 people, including seven full-time employees of the organization. Companies such as Cargill, ADM and Caterpillar donate heavily to the group.
The floating classroom previously was in Channahon, Seneca and Utica (at Starved Rock), and was heading to Lacon and Peoria.
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