The Lake Hopatcong Foundation aims to bring lake education (environment, history, and safety) into local schools, and the education team is coordinating with all four local school districts and local private schools to bring Lake Hopatcong to students of all ages.
Making Lake Hopatcong a Classroom with State Park Class Trips
The education team has created and coordinated full-day field trips for 4th graders in the Lake Hopatcong area at Hopatcong State Park. During these trips, students get an opportunity to go on a boat ride understand the impact of surrounding geography on the lake, take a hike to learn the importance of trees and forests in lake health, view an Enviroscape model to learn about watersheds, collect macroinvertebrate samples to determine the health of the water downstream of the dam, and receive a guided tour of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum to learn about the lake’s history. The lessons are tied into what is called for in the New Jersey Next Generation Science Standards, so the students will be applying what they learn about the environment and New Jersey history in the classroom.
Looking ahead, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation is seeking funding toward the ultimate goal of getting a floating classroom for Lake Hopatcong students, much like the one that is operated by the Lake George Association in New York. Such a boat would allow the foundation to bring people of all ages onto the lake to learn about lake ecology and history as part of regular field trips and scheduled excursions from the spring through the autumn.
Lake Hopatcong Foundation Scholarship Program
Starting with the graduating high school senior class of 2015, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation has awarded two annual $1,000 scholarships to students who are looking to pursue college or trade school studies related to the lake environment or the lake experience. The applications, due in early May, include an opportunity to explain how experiences on Lake Hopatcong shaped the student’s long-term study and career plan. Winners will be announced at the high schools’ award nights every June.
Ice Safety Presentations
Starting in January 2014, Lake Hopatcong Foundation volunteers and staff coordinated with local police, fire departments, and EMS personnel to bring ice safety education into local grade schools. For photos of the presentations, click here.
The purpose of these programs in local elementary schools is to teach students what to do before going out on the ice, how to determine the strength of the ice, how to get out if you fall through, and how an ice rescue works.
If you would like to download a copy of our ice safety brochure or poster for your home or school, we are happy to provide those documents for download.
Bringing Lake History into Local Schools
Many local schools tie the area’s history into lesson plans. The Lake Hopatcong Foundation looks to bring any helpful resources to schools to help enhance those lessons. Whether it’s making sure books on lake history are available in classrooms and school libraries or helping to coordinate a field trip to the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, we want to help ensure children who grow up around Lake Hopatcong have a strong sense for the area’s rich history.