Chesapeake Connections reaches every 6th grade student through an engaging, real-world restoration program. Learning starts in the classroom when Chesapeake Connections visits the students for a pre-trip lesson aimed at building background knowledge and generating excitement. Students then embark on an environmental stewardship field experience where they explore a local ecosystem and engage in a number of activities. Examples include collecting water quality data, planting native vegetation, evaluating environmental health, and arts integration. Chesapeake Connections combines learning, stewardship, and exploration in a local setting and encourages students to apply their in-classroom learning to real-world environmental problems and their solutions.
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.
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