On May 2, 2018, students from Edgewood Middle School and Magnolia Middle School travelled to the Statewide Watershed Summit in Annapolis, Maryland to present their stream monitoring results and action projects – months in the making – to local policy makers to advocate for the importance of stream and Chesapeake Bay health.
For a second year, the Howard County Conservancy organized the summit to encourage all Maryland schools to monitor a local or onsite waterway, submit the data to the Watershed Report Card, and complete an action project that will improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Harford County was well represented at the summit this year by Edgewood Middle and Magnolia Middle students: Beverlymae Barnett, Angela Bush, Amirah Ferguson, Chris Grady, Temilola Lawal, Aba Pobee, Zoya Rahman, Ishandeep Singh, Daniel Smith, and Max Williams from Edgewood Middle; and Alexander Hughes, Kayla Lymon, Keliss Levone-Myers, Carol Rinker, Neah Shaw, Maryellen VanHorn, and Skye Wilhelm from Magnolia Middle.
Under the leadership of Sarah Psaros, Jennifer Knoll, and Kristie Smith, students at Edgewood Middle monitored their onsite stream, Rams Creek, to find that much could be improved. After seeing debris onsite, students made plastic reduction and recycling a focus for the school this year. Students generated recycling awareness through posters, presentations, and a schoolwide plastic recycling event.
“It was exciting to see all the hard work we did made a big difference,” said 7th grader Max Williams.
The Magnolia Middle School Ecology Club, led by Bridget Lang and Tom Smith, monitored a tributary of the Gunpowder River. After seeing that the stream was lacking in aquatic biodiversity, students decided to advocate for a Low Mow Zone on campus that would help filter runoff and improve water quality. They will be working with Michelle Dobson, from the Department of Natural Resources, and Harford Glen to plant native species in the Low Mow Zone.
“I heard Keliss and Kayla (students from Magnolia Middle) talking about how fantastic it was to see so many likeminded students from all over the state advocating for our watershed,” said Tom Smith. “They really got a sense of the importance of their work, as well as how environmental issues connect us.”
Edgewood Middle School recently received Green School status, and Magnolia Middle School
hopes to follow suite next year. Both schools’ Ecology Clubs look forward to working together
next year to complete a large collaborative action project, and continue working towards a
healthier Chesapeake Bay.