The Influences of Rivers on Culture

A  Study on Wayne-Westland Community Schools


This site will be a project devoted to the study of Wayne-Westland Schools and the proximity of the Rouge River. By using ArcView, I was able to evaluate three of the schools in reference to the RiverWalk Project.


Wayne-Westland Community Schools

Located in southeast Michigan, Wayne-Westland Community Schools serviced 14,298 students in the 1998-1999 school year. Of these students, 27.7% are on the Free Lunch Program. It should be noted that this percent is misleading. When the students transfer to the high schools, the majority of students eligible for the federal lunch plans choose not to register due to the stigma that exists for students on the plans. The actual percent would thus be higher then 27.7. The state average of students in the Free Lunch Program is 25%. Because participation in the Free Lunch Program depends on income, eligibility for this program is often used to estimate student needs. National totals could not be calculated could not be calculated for the 1998-1999 school year due to reporting problems. The pupil per teacher ratio is at 24.4. For the 1997-1998 school year, the drop out rate was 9.6. The completion/graduation rate was 64.7. 

For demographics maps of Wayne-Westland, see

Rouge River

The Rouge river is located in southeastern Michigan. Identified by the International
Joint Commission as one of 43 areas of concern most responsible for pollution of the
Great Lakes, Rouge river runs through Wayne-Westland. For information on the Rouge river watershed, see


Riverwalk is an interdisciplinary program current being designed by the University of Michigan School of Education and schools and organizations in Izumo, Japan. As a way to introduce students to the importance of rivers in " history, culture, ecology, geography, politics, and art", Riverwalk will connect students around the world through the internet. 

The aim of Riverwalk is to create a "project that crosses disciplinary, cultural, and geographic boundaries. " This is done by having students explore aspects of a local or regional river. The students will study how society uses and can protect rivers. Each study group will post their findings on the Riverwalk website.

Riverwalk is applicable for younger and older students due to its design. There are two guilds within Riverwalk. The first, Trout Guild, is for younger students, while the older students use Salmon Guild. The students may also explore other workgroups' progress and respond to their findings. For further details see


By using ArcView, a GIS package, I was able to evaluate the Wayne-Westland Community Schools in reference to Riverwalk. I located three schools within the school district that were in close proximity with one another. These schools were than compared to their proximity to the Rouge River.


My findings revealed, that Lincoln Elementary School, Adams Middle School, and Wayne Memorial High School were all located within the Rouge river watershed. The Mc Phee drain of the river actually divides the area between Lincoln Elementary and Adams Middle. See below




Department of Education

Friends of the Rouge River

Michigan Department of Education



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