AACPS and the Anne Arundel Department of Public Works (AADPW) collaborated to create the AA County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA), a unique community outreach and environmental action program. Watershed Stewards Academy builds capacity in Anne Arundel County by training Master Watershed Stewards to help neighbors reduce pollution in our local creeks and rivers. The certification course gives Stewards the tools to implement change in their communities, turning knowledge into action. Stewards work with their communities to install projects such as rain gardens or conservation landscapes and to reduce pollution at its source. Collectively, these small community-based actions are improving the health of the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since 2009, WSA has certified over 160 Master Watershed Stewards from Brooklyn Park to Herring Bay. Each year, these Stewards collaborate with neighbors, businesses, schools and each other to install hundreds of projects that reduce pollution in our rivers and streams.
The Initiative and Confidence course at Arlington Echo Out is designed for students and adults to build communication and cooperation skills. Through a series of field games and low elements, participants work as a team to solve problems and overcome challenges. These team building activities help participants become more self-confident as individuals and more collaborative as members of a team. Completing these activities is also a great way for participants to build trust. This course works well with students at the beginning of the school year, faculty groups, clubs and sports teams. All groups must be led by a certified instructor. Certification requires a two-day, 16-hour workshop, which is offered at Arlington Echo three times a year.
This two-day, 16-hour workshop provides the certification required to use the Initiative and Confidence Course at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. AACPS personnel sign up on ERO. Non-AACPS personnel contact the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office 410-222-3822.
Recertification is required every two years. AACPS personnel sign up on ERO for this half day workshop. Non-AACPS personnel contact the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office 410-222-3822.
Contact Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center 410-222-3822
The Drownproofing Program is a comprehensive aquatic safety program for fifth grade students in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Students learn personal water safety skills through classroom and pool instruction. At school, water safety readiness lessons are taught by classroom teachers; these lessons are aligned with the Language Arts curriculum. Students are then transported to one of two pools used for the program. The Arundel Olympic Swim Center in Annapolis is used throughout the school year. The pool at Arlington Echo is used in September, May and June. Each student receives four hours of instruction in the pool by certified aquatic safety instructors. Lessons focus on personal water safety, use of personal flotation devices (PFDs), safe rescues of others, cold water survival techniques, hypothermia and ice safety. Instructors complete a skills evaluation for each student. Classroom teachers recruit parent volunteers to assist with supervision. All volunteers undergo background checks.
In preparation for the Drownproofing Program, please follow the guidelines below. Classroom teachers will also share this information with students before the program. Students are to bring the following equipment to the pool: * Bathing suit, two towels and a carrying bag. Students may wish to wear their bathing suits under their clothing and bring a pair of underwear for changing. * On the day of the Cold Water Survival lesson, a pair of long pants (jeans or athletic wear) and a long-sleeved button-down shirt (cotton or flannel) will be needed. Sweatshirts do not inflate well during this lesson. * A brush or comb. * A ponytail holder or rubber band for students with long hair. * Goggles may be worn, but will not be allowed if they interfere with instruction. * A T-shirt may be worn over the bathing suit. * Neutral smelling lotions and hair de-tangle products can brought but not shared. Students are NOT to bring: * Money or valuables such as watches or jewelry. * Hair dryers, shampoo, soap or hairstyling products such as hair gel or hair spray. * Food, candy or chewing gum. * Masks, nose plugs or aqua shoes. * Cell phones or electronic devices.
In preparation for the Drownproofing Program, please follow the guidelines below. Classroom teachers will also share this information with students before the program.
Students are to bring the following equipment to the pool:
* Bathing suit, two towels and a carrying bag. Students may wish to wear their bathing suits under their clothing and bring a pair of underwear for changing.
* On the day of the Cold Water Survival lesson, a pair of long pants (jeans or athletic wear) and a long-sleeved button-down shirt (cotton or flannel) will be needed. Sweatshirts do not inflate well during this lesson.
* A brush or comb.
* A ponytail holder or rubber band for students with long hair.
* Goggles may be worn, but will not be allowed if they interfere with instruction.
* A T-shirt may be worn over the bathing suit.
* Neutral smelling lotions and hair de-tangle products can brought but not shared.
Students are NOT to bring:
* Money or valuables such as watches or jewelry.
* Hair dryers, shampoo, soap or hairstyling products such as hair gel or hair spray.
* Food, candy or chewing gum.
* Masks, nose plugs or aqua shoes.
* Cell phones or electronic devices.
Chesapeake Connections conducts school outreach and environmental action projects for all sixth grade classes in AACPS. Each middle school participates in one of the following action projects as part of their Chesapeake Bay investigation: Grasses in Classes (submerged aquatic vegetation), American Eel raise and release, oyster restoration, and stormwater management planting. Environmental action takes place at many different sites throughout Anne Arundel County. Chesapeake Connections staff visit classrooms for outreach education. Field experiences are led by Chesapeake Connections staff. Classroom teachers recruit volunteers to assist with field experiences. All volunteers undergo background checks.
Grasses in Classes
In conjunction with Department of Natural Resources and Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Grasses in Classes Program, students grow and propagate redhead underwater grass in the classroom. Teachers and students set up experiments, record growth rates and record data. Students learn about the care, propagation, status and importance of underwater grasses to the Chesapeake Bay. Underwater grasses raised are planted at the soft shoreline restoration project at Arlington Echo.
American Eel Raise and Release
The American Eel Raise and Release Project is conducted in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Students raise American eels from the "glass eel" stage to "yellow eel" stage in the classroom. Students learn about the life cycle, care and migratory patterns of the American eel. Students also study water quality and the human impact on eel habitat. Eels are released back into local streams in spring.
The Oyster Program links four middle schools with the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Students explore life in and around the Chesapeake Bay past and present. They identify oyster spat, measure growth and plant the oysters on a local reef.
Stormwater Management Planting
In partnership with the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works (DPW), students participate in regenerative stormwater conveyance projects. Chesapeake Connections staff visit classrooms and initiate an investigation of the issue of stormwater. Students learn their “watershed address” and use GIS technology to identify storm drains, outfalls, and impervious surfaces near stormwater projects. Students then participate in planting native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees at new stormwater projects to restore habitat, promote nutrient uptake, and stabilize soil.
Chesapeake Connections also supports the first grade environmental literacy program, “How Can We Help Monarch Butterflies?” They assess the condition of Monarch butterfly gardens at schools and support selected schools annually, installing new gardens as needed and providing planting support for existing gardens.
Amy Greif firstname.lastname@example.org
Arlington Echo 410-222-3822
Terrapin Connection is a supplemental classroom program. It operates under a Maryland Department of Natural Resources Scientific Collection Permit. Northern Diamondback Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are placed in classrooms in October and released in May/June of the following year. Teacher training is required for participation. Students research the natural history of our state reptile, collect weekly growth data, make behavioral observations, and record husbandry protocols. Growth data are also collected during tagging just prior to release on the beaches of Poplar Island in May and June. The terrapins are implanted with a PIT (passive integrated transponder) microchip for identification. Upon recapture in future years, terrapins are scanned for tags and growth data compared to information collected in the classroom.
By raising and releasing these terrapins, students support important terrapin conservation research, conducted by Dr. Willem Roosenburg, Associate Professor of Biology at Ohio University and noted terrapin researcher. Classroom terrapin hatchlings are obtained from Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Site through an agreement with the Maryland Environmental Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Maryland Port Administration. Staff at Poplar Island provide assistance and support throughout the project. All terrapins are cared for with the oversight of Dr. Eileen Manyin, D.V.M. of the Greater Annapolis Veterinary Clinic.
Army Corps of Engineers
Maryland Port Administration
Maryland Environmental Service
The program is supported in part with a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
Contact Heather McCarthy at email@example.com
Arlington Echo 410-222-3822