Kenai Watershed Forum media coordinator Galen Hecht, right, explains how rivers impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Watershed Forum media coordinator Galen Hecht, right, explains how rivers impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

‘You’re in this watershed’

Demonstration table shows how water affects peninsula geography.

The Kenai Watershed Forum put a new “river table” to work Tuesday as part of multiple demonstrations about how watersheds work. The table, acquired by the Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District, runs water at an angle amid sand to demonstrate the impact rivers have on their surroundings.

The table is similar in size to a pingpong table, but it’s filled with sand and has piping that circulates water under and on top of it. At a meeting with property owners on Tuesday, the forum’s education specialist, Megan Pike, and media coordinator, Galen Hecht, ran through multiple simulations of water movement.

For example, one attendee placed a miniature house on a bend in the “river.” Initially, the moving water rapidly eroded the area. The placement of vegetation and rocks on the bluff in front of the house, however, slowed the erosion process.

Pike said the event was the second held that day that demonstrated how the table can be used. Elementary school students were shown a similar demonstration and laid out familiar landmarks, such as the Fred Meyer and schools, on the sand. The visual, she said, helps drive the message home.

“We were like, ‘You’re in this watershed, you’re living as a part of it,’ ” Pike said.

Pike said she’s excited to take the table into schools and participate in similar demonstrations in classrooms around the central peninsula.

“Kids are really my audience,” Pike said.

People interested in using or seeing demonstrations of the table can contact the Kenai Soil & Water Conservation District at 907-283-8732.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Kenai Watershed Forum media coordinator Galen Hecht uses a “river table” to explain how watersheds impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Watershed Forum media coordinator Galen Hecht uses a “river table” to explain how watersheds impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Watershed Forum Education Specialist Megan Pike, left, explains how rivers impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Watershed Forum Education Specialist Megan Pike, left, explains how rivers impact their surroundings during a demonstration given at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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