Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Friday, June 23, 2017

Wet Lab

Wet-lab Environmental Educational Center Developing at SML State Park

Jim Gerhart, Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park

For many years, park personnel have looked for ways to inform park visitors about the water quality and content of Smith Mountain Lake.  Now that dream is becoming a reality.  Brian Heft, Park Manager SML State Park, said that a portion of the Discovery Center has been converted to a wet-lab equipped with lab science tables.  He said, as a result of this generous donation from AEP, they are now able to purchase lab equipment to allow testing of the various properties of lake water quality including turbidity, alkalinity, carbon dioxide, hardness and nitrates. Additionally, with the purchase of microscopes and water samplers, students can now study the microscopic life present in lake water.  Heft said that the new tour boat donated by the Friends of the Park, will allow students the opportunity to obtain samples from tributaries and other areas for comparison in the new lab. Heft advised, area schools will be the immediate beneficiaries of the developing program.  He plans to also include adult education programs in the future.