The Virtual Haw River Learning Celebration – Now Online!

The Haw River Assembly has created a virtual online tour of our wonderful annual field trip, since we can’t bring do it in person this year. There are six episodes that let you experience online the activities fourth-graders and our volunteers participate in during the field trip, including water monitoring, solutions to pollution, cultural history, art, geology and more. Join us in sharing our love for the river, and exploring nature.

The videos (produced by videographer Fred Tutman, and Elaine Chiosso, HRA Executive Director) bring together expert volunteer presenters from our Learning Celebration,with our naturalist guide, HRA’s own Chris Carter, and his assistant, Althea Clayton. Episodes are enlivened by animation from Tim King, music by Jonathan Henderson, and the magic of fantastic puppets from Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Episodes are 10 to 20 minutes each in length, and can be viewed separately.

Episode #1 Stream Watch – What’s in the Water?

Watch Now!
Chris meets up with Emily Sutton, Haw Riverkeeper who shows us what aquatic insects in the river can tell us about water quality. Animated Mayfly and Caddisfly explain more! (Fox and Raccoon puppets make an appearance!)

Episode #2 Water Protectors – Solutions to Pollution!

Watch Now!
Kyleene Rooks, HRA Outreach and Event Coordinator shows Chris how pollution gets into our waters, and how we can prevent it using the Enviroscape watershed model. Althea and Niko Skurnick help make the rainstorm that can bring pollution into water. (Fox, Deer and Rabbit are very interested!)

Episode #3 Wild Clay – From the Land to Your Hands!

Watch now: Chris finds wild clay on the river banks and brings it to potter Louise Hobbs to find out how to turn it pottery clay. He and Althea learn about clay’s properties, how it can muddy waters, and about its use by people over time, from the Indigenous Sissipahaw, to the early colonial potters. (Raccoon also joins in!)

Episode #4 Art and the River – Nature Rocks!    Coming SOON!
Chris discovers artist Emma Skurnick using the river as inspiration, and Jan Burger and Niko Skurnick using river rocks to paint with. (Fox and Heron help out!)

Episode #5 Animals and the River – Amazing Adaptations! Coming SOON!
Chris sees new animals and signs that they live near the river as he meets up with CC Carver King (educator with the NC Division of Wildlife Resources) and Rufus King. He and Althea learn about adaptations of some of the animals that live right on the Haw River. (With appearances by several of the Paperhand Puppets – watch to see!)

Episode #6  We Speak for the Trees – and Puppet Parade! Coming SOON! Chris shows us some of the beautiful plants and trees that live near the river, and why we should care for them. He meets up with Lea Clayton, herbalist, to learn about the spicebush that grows in the floodplains. We find out where we can all hike on public trails along the Haw. The final episode ends with a Puppet Parade and the theme song of the Haw River Learning Celebration, “We are One”!

We’re offering these videos free to schools, and everyone to view online at home. We hope you enjoy them!

Thanks to all of you who made contributions to bring this project to reality! A donation of any amount to support this video project is greatly appreciated, and can be made through our Virtual Learning Celebration GoFundMe campaign, or by mail at
Haw River Assembly
PO Box 187
Bynum, NC 27228

Thank you to all of the schools, teachers, parents and who have participated over the last 30 years. We miss being with you, and hope to see you out at the river next year!