Classroom Resources


Find educator resources designed to be used with the program If Our Water Could Talk. They are recommended for teachers in elementary, middle and high schools to explore specific biology, earth science and historical themes. 

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More About Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

RIVERKEEPER® is a community-based organization dedicated to protecting the quality and quantity of water, while connecting people to water. We do this by cleaning up pollution from our waterways, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, enhancing public access through greenways that expand parks and open space, and engaging and educating the community.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is a non-profit in Western New York leading a regional transformation from a rust belt region to a blue economy, showcasing an international restoration model for the Great Lakes. For over 25 years, Riverkeeper has brought together multiple partners, community leaders and other non-profits to advance solutions for complex environmental problems. We have successfully leveraged Great Lakes investments with millions of dollars of private investments to cleanup, restore and revitalize the Buffalo River and other area waterways.

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Tifft Farm Nature Preserve

Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre urban nature preserve operated by the Buffalo Museum of Science. Located in South Buffalo, the area was formerly used as a transshipment facility and dump until it was designated a nature preserve in the early 1970s. Despite the industrial history of the site, it provides valuable wildlife habitat and greenspace within the city limits. Major habitats on the preserve include a 75-acre remnant cattail marsh, woodlands, grasslands and three ponds. The cattail marsh, which is the largest remnant wetland in Erie County, provides nesting habitat for rare marsh birds and the woodlands are an important stop-over site for migrating birds. Tifft Nature Preserve is a destination for environmental education, outdoor recreation and scientific research for the people of Buffalo and Western New York.

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Queen City Waterfront

If water could talk in Buffalo, it would say, “keep planning and implementing with great vision.” Our story on the settlement of Buffalo includes a brilliant radial plan plotted by Joseph Ellicott in1804 that assured we would grow up from the water south and west centered on the Lake Erie Waterfront. Another powerful vision 15 years later was for what was then called “The Grand Canal,” a barge canal to assist in the transshipment of grain and goods east and people west. Planners were looking for the best site for its western terminus. In response, Buffalo re-engineered the mouth of the river to allow calm water for large ships to offload goods, establishing the port and the successful designation of the city as the terminus of the Erie Canal. By 1841, Buffalo was the largest grain handling port in the world.

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What is a Brownfield Site?

Brownfield sites are abandoned or underutilized properties that were previously used for industrial purposes. Brownfield sites are contaminated by hazardous waste or pollutants. They generally exist in a city’s industrial section, on locations with abandoned factories or industrial plants that once caused significant pollution.

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Funding for If Our Water Could Talk is provided by HSBC and Honeywell. With additional funding from The Joy Family Foundation, Lawley Insurance and The Baird Foundation.