11 schools to complete studies on campus streams
Eleven Harford County public schools are taking part in the grant-funded Explore and Restore Harford Streams program: Deerfield, Edgewood, Homestead/Wakefield, William Paca/Old Post Road, and Youth’s Benefit elementary schools; and Bel Air, Edgewood, and Fallston middle and high schools. Schools were chosen by their location in, or proximity to, the Bush River watershed. The Explore and Restore Harford Streams program is funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as part of a larger streams education initiative for the state of Maryland.
As part of the program, students complete both a campus water quality and a downstream water quality investigation at either Harford Glen or the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center. During their studies, students develop and implement action plans to improve or protect the water quality of their local watershed.
This grant-funded program provides the equipment, chemical testing kits and boots for the students to complete their studies. Nearly 50 Harford County Public Schools teachers and volunteers were trained on proper stream study protocols at Harford Glen on September 13 and 14. Additional training on implementing schoolyard and community action plans will be held in January. Action projects may include schoolyard plantings, rain gardens or student-lead outreach to educate the local community on steps to take to improve or protect local watersheds.
Edgewood Middle School 7th graders recently finished the first of the student studies on their campus stream. Students completed a stream health assessment, a macro invertebrate collection and identification, and a geomorphology study of their campus stream. Preliminary findings indicate that the health of their campus stream is in the fair to good range based on observable data collected by the teams of budding scientists. Staff members from both the Anita C. Leight Estuary center and Harford Glen assisted the Edgewood Middle staff in working with the students during the field experience.
“This partnership with the folks at Anita C. Leight has provided us with a great opportunity, as we are able to engage in meaningful watershed educational experiences with over 2,000 students,” stated Assistant Supervisor of Science for HCPS Howard Eakes. “I was truly impressed with the background knowledge and quality questions asked by the Edgewood Middle School students,” he added.
For more information on the streams education initiative, visit: http://dnr.maryland.gov/Education/Pages/streamed.aspx.