Help the Hellbenders: Horseheads 5th grade girls are “future stewards of the environment”

Local News

A group of fifth-grade students from Horseheads Intermediate School are working together to help save the threatened Eastern hellbender salamanders. 

The 11 girls are raising money and awareness about these unique amphimbians, as polluted rivers and streams threaten the survival of the species.

“The hellbender is an indication species to scientists that whatever water they live in is clean,” said Lily Rivers, the group leader.

The money that the group raises will be donated to Dr. Peter Petokas, an expert on the Eastern hellbender and a professor at Lycoming College in Williamsport.

Jim Pfiffer and the Chemung River Friends are helping the young ladies with their efforts.

“We support anyone who works to protect an aquatic species,” said River Friends Executive Director Jim Pfiffer. “But it is especially important for us to assist youth, because they are the future stewards of our waterways and environment.”

When asked how they feel about being the future stewards of the environment, River said, “It’s definitely a big responsibility but we really love the environment and to take care of it.”

Pfiffer, Brianna Benjamin, Caitlin Yearick, and Lily Rivers stopped by 18 News Today on Wednesday morning to discuss their group’s efforts to save the species. You can watch the full interview in the video above.

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