Education > Schoolyard Habitats >Success Stories > 2014/2015 School Year
 


Schoolyard Habitat Success Stories


 

2014/2015 School Year

Pennsylvania Schoolyard Habitat Maintenance and Monitoring Program Statewide, PA
Grasonville Elementary School Grasonville, MD
Miles Poind Farm / Inn at Perry Cabin St. Michaels, MD
Klondike Road Easton, MD    
Town of North Beach's Wetland Overlook Park North Beach, MD    
Environmental Concern Inc. St. Michaels, MD    
The Walton Beach Nature Preserve North Beach, MD    
 

Pennsylvania Schoolyard Habitat Maintenance and Monitoring Program

Location: Statewide, Pennsylvania                                

Type of Habitat: Wetland and Rain Garden Habitats

Started: Fall 2014

Cost: $15,000

Supported by: Anonymous Grant

Schools Participating: Young Scholars Charter School, Park Forest Elementary School, Greenwoods Charter School, Central Mountain High School, Evans Elementary School, Spring Grove High School, 7th Grade Center

Noteworthy: In the Fall of 2014, Environmental Concern (EC) received grant funding to create an innovative schoolyard habitat maintenance and monitoring program. This program was implemented to evaluate the restoration success of schoolyard habitat and their use and integration in schools. Monitoring data was collected from seven of EC’s past schoolyard habitat projects to ensure proper habitat functions were present and that conditions discovered were contributing to improving the water quality found within the Delaware and Susquehanna River Watersheds in Pennsylvania. Habitats were selected to evaluate the success of schoolyard habitats as restoration projects and increase sustainability of the habitats use throughout the school. Participating schools received a Schoolyard Habitat Maintenance and Monitoring Teacher Training in order to learn proper field techniques for data collection and to integrate their students in the process throughout the school year. Upon completion of the program, each participating school received five hundred dollars worth of native plants to make schoolyard habitat improvements. Schools also received a maintenance and monitoring report that included student collected data and baseline data collected from EC staff. The final maintenance and monitoring report was used to improve the quality and sustainability of the each school’s schoolyard habitat for future use. Environmental Concern continues to support the schools to integrate their habitats into mandated standards and curriculum.

Click on the name of the school below each picture to read the project story.

Students at Spring Grove High School monitor wetland vegetation
 Students at Spring Grove High School monitor wetland vegetation.

 

PA students monitor the formation of wetland soils
PA students monitor the formation of wetland soils.

 

Spring Grove High School wetland 5 years after planting
 Spring Grove High School wetland 5 years after planting.

 

Young Scholars Charter School 5 yrats after planting.
Young Scholars Charter School 5 yrats after planting.

 

Greenwoods Charter School rain garden 5 years after planting.
 Greenwoods Charter School rain garden after 1st growing season.

 

Park Forest Elementary School wetland 5 years after planting.
Park Forest Elementary School wetland 5 years after planting.

 

Evans Elementary School Wetland 5 years after planting.
 Evans Elementary School Wetland 5 years after planting.

 

Evans Elementary School Rain Garden after first growing season.
Evans Elementary School Rain Garden after first growing season.

 

Seventh Grade Center Wetland after 5th growing season.
 Seventh Grade Center Wetland after second growing season.

 

Central Mountain High School after 5th growing season.
Central Mountain High School after 5th growing season.

 

 

   

 

Grasonville Elementary School

Location: Grasonville, MD

Type of Habitat: Freshwater Marsh

Installed: October 7, 2014

Area Size:  1,000ft2.

Cost: $1,900

Supported by: Meaningful Watershed Education Experience Grant

Number of Students Involved: 40

Design: 4th and 5th grade Grasonville Students

Noteworthy: One year after Grasonville Elementary School (GES) implemented a 1,000 ft2 freshwater marsh, Environmental Concern was invited back to help install an upland planting area expansion. EC Educators worked with 4th and 5th grade students in the Grasonville Raises Awareness for Community Interactions with the Environment Group (GRACIE). The students learned how to plan, design, and enlarge the wetland with an additional 1,000ft2 upland planting zone. This project increased plant diversity and further enhanced bird habitat at the school. Forty students from the GRACIE group came to plant before school started and completed the entire habitat area within one hour. GES Teachers received training on how to align the habitat into mandated curriculum and received numerous monitoring and maintenance lessons to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Grasonville wetland expansion prior to planting

Grasonville wetland expansion after planting

Grasonville students plant wetland expansion area

Grasonville students plant wetland expansion area

   

 

Miles Point Farm/ Inn at Perry Cabin

Location: St. Michael’s, MD

Type of Habitat: Stream Buffer

Installed: 10/29/2014

Area Size:  29,814 ft2.

Supported by: Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge Grant

Number of Students Involved: 68

Design: 9th Grade St Michaels Middle High School Students and Environmental Concern

Noteworthy: In Fall 2014, Environmental Concern (EC), Pickering Creek Audubon Center (PCAC), Talbot County, and Talbot County Public Schools, partnered for the second year, to implement tree plantings associated with the Maryland Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge Grant. The project focused on restoring stream buffers on the Eastern Shore to improve water quality in impaired streams. 9th grade students from St Michaels Middle High School worked with EC and PCAC to receive in class lessons about the importance of buffers, and learned how to design, and develop a planting plan for the restoration project. Students created a planting plan based on data collected from field site assessments to monitor water quality, tree health, and site conditions. This data will also be used to track the success of the restoration project after its completion. Students planted 305 native trees to restore 29,814 ft2 of stream buffer.

St Michaels Middle School plant forest buffer to improve water quality

St Michaels Middle School plant forest buffer to improve water quality

St Michaels Middle School plant forest buffer to improve water quality

St Michaels Middle School plant forest buffer to improve water quality

   

 

Klondike Road

Location: Easton, MD

Type of Habitat: Stream Buffer

Installed: 10/31/2014

Area Size:  110,178 ft2

Supported by: Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge Grant

Number of Students Involved: 117

Design: 9th Grade Easton High School Students and Environmental Concern

Noteworthy: In Fall 2014, Environmental Concern (EC), Pickering Creek Audubon Center (PCAC), Talbot County, and Talbot County Public Schools partnered for the second year to implement tree plantings associated with the Maryland Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge Grant. The project focused on restoring stream buffers on the Eastern Shore to improve water quality in impaired streams. Easton High School students worked with EC and PCAC to receive in class lessons about the importance of buffers, and learned how to design, and develop a planting plan for the restoration project. Students created a planting plan based on data collected from field site assessments. This data will also be used to track the success of the restoration project after its completion. Students planted 885 native trees to restore 2.5 acres of stream buffer.

Easton High School students plant forest buffer on Halloween

Planted forest Buffer on farmnear Easton, MD
   
 

 

Town of North Beach’s Wetland Overlook Park

Location: North Beach, MD

Type of Habitat: Wetland Remediation

Installed:

Area Size:  1,000 ft2

Cost: $900

Supported by: The Town of North Beach

Number of Students Involved: 917 Calvert County Students

Design: 9th Grade Calvert County Public School Students and Environmental Concern

Noteworthy: As part of a spring field trip, Calvert County 9th grade students worked with Environmental Concern and the Town of North Beach to remediate a 1,000 sq. ft. wetland area in Wetland Overlook Park. During this day students learned the importance of protecting wetlands and learned varying field skills including how to plant a wetland habitat. The project installed Spartina patens (Salt Meadow Hay) near the newly installed boardwalk to mitigate the disturbance the construction of the boardwalk and path created. This was a highlight of the field trip for many of the students participating in the day.


Students plant marsh transition at Overlook Park, North Beach, MD


Students plant marsh transition at Overlook Park, North Beach, MD

Students plant marsh transition at Overlook Park, North Beach, MD

Students plant marsh transition at Overlook Park, North Beach, MD
   

 

Environmental Concern, Inc.

Location: St Michaels, MD

Type of Habitat: Seed and Butterfly Garden

Installed: June 23, 2015

Area Size:  1,260 ft2

Cost: $1,928

Supported by: Chesapeake Bay Trust

Number of Students Involved: 5

Design: 2014-2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Noteworthy: Environmental Concern’s Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer was awarded a mini grant from Chesapeake Bay Trust to build a butterfly and seed garden on the Environmental Concern Campus. Students from Talbot County and the YMCA camp joined to help plant the area. Students worked with Environmental Concern staff to complete the planting in record time. The day ended with an engaging walk and talk about pollinators and bee confinements. This space is the newest addition to Environmental Concern’s habitats, showcasing what they are able to construct at other locations.

Planting the seed and butterfly garden at Environmental Concern

Completed seed and butterfly garden at Environmental Concern


 

 

The Walton Beach Nature Preserve

Location: North Beach, MD

Type of Habitat: Living Shoreline

Installed: Coming Fall 2015

Area Size:  600 ft2

Cost: $545,814

Supported by: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grants

Number of Students Involved: 917 Calvert County Students

Design: 9th Grade Calvert County Public School Students and Environmental Concern

Noteworthy: The Town of North Beach’s Walton Beach Nature Preserve has been experiencing significant erosion over the past few decades. Altogether, the beach has lost about five acres of shoreline. Funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grants, the Town of North Beach awarded Environmental Concern (EC) the bid to implement a unique partnership between educational and restoration efforts. EC will restore the shoreline with the Calvert County Public School students as active Jr. Wetland Scientists. Currently, over 900 Calvert County 9th grade students have participated in field site assessments and in class lessons. Over the summer, teachers will be provided professional developments workshops and students will volunteer for a late summer or early fall planting day. The habitat project is estimated to be completed in September 2015. On-going monitoring and student programs will continue to evaluate the success of this restoration project through the 2015-2016 school year.

Walton Beach student field day

Walton Beach Student Field Day-land surveying lesson

Walton Beach Student Field Day-poster session


Walton Beach student field day-seining for fish

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