Ada Hayden Interpretive Program kicks off


By Matthew Rezab, [email protected]

Bill Simkpins, geological and atmospheric sciences department professor and chair, speaks about water flow in and out of Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake on Thursday, June 25. Simpkins was the first guest speaker this summer for the Ada Hayden Interpretive Program.

Matthew Rezab

Drops of rain fell ironically on the small crowd listening to the drought solutions portion of a lecture about water flow in and out of Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake.

Bill Simpkins, professor and chair of the geological and atmospheric sciences department, was the opening act of the summer for the Ada Hayden Interpretive Program on Thursday. His hydrology lecture spurred discussion about everything from conservation lawsuits to phosphorus levels in the drinking water.

The AHIP is a summer-long Ames Park & Recreation initiative designed to educate the public about a variety of natural resource topics. A new speaker or tour guide will lead a discussion or tour about an announced topic every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. through Sept. 17.

John Yates, a graduate student in science education, said he spends about 10 hours a week at Ada Hayden Heritage Park helping events flow smoothly and teaching the public about plant and animal life. He said the AHIP is a great chance for not only for the public to learn about what Ada Hayden Heritage Park has to offer, but to help volunteers as well.

“I’m hoping to gain some experience working with the public doing this sort of thing,” Yates said.

Although this will be Simpkins only AHIP lecture this summer, he said he brings his students to the park each year.

“It’s a great teaching environment for learning about water and all aspects of nature,” Simpkins said. “I think it’s important for the public to understand where their water comes from and what the role is of this place in that whole story.”

Next Thursday, wildlife ecology expert Tyler Harms,will lead a “butterfly walk” around the park. The walk will begin at Ada Hayden’s north shelter.