Protecting Watersheds!

  • Location
    Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
  • Status
  • Age Level
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years
    14 to 18 Years

The Problem

The goal is to protect Iden Run from continued erosion due to foot traffic by constructing three access areas for students and educators. Iden Run flows within the greater watershed of the Chesapeake Bay. Loss of sediment has a huge impact on water quality for people and many other species.

Our Plan

Students have been active in selecting the project. They developed a community map of the Education Center, identifying two areas that need improvement: 1. preventing erosion at three access points to Iden Run, and 2. removal of invasive species in a forested area. Students were presented with two questions: 1. What best practices can be implemented to (a) prevent stream bank erosion along Iden Run that will protect the watershed, and (b) control invasive species that will enhance habitat for wildlife? 2. Which area of improvement will be the focus for the Roots & Shoots project? Students brainstormed answers to the questions and through discussion decided to focus on preventing erosion by constructing three stream access areas for students and educators. This project is a guided investigation. We recognize that giving students ownership of projects gives them empowerment, and we will be certain to guide the process in that direction.

Themes Addressed

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    Clean Water
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

Fantastic! Here is a reflection: Students’ goal for the Roots & Shoots program was to create three access points to protect Iden Run, our on-site stream, from erosion due to foot traffic of students and campers. They were successful in constructing all three access areas, supported by educators and volunteers in many ways. One parent, Matt, who works on stream restoration, was key in supporting teams. He presented a book to students with options for creating access points to water. The students worked in groups and sketched designs. Matt reviewed their plans, visited the sites and made suggestions. Students redesigned blending their original ideas to those suggested by an expert. To implement the plan, we had two volunteer days. Parents and educators supported the students and in teams we were able to complete the project in two weeks. Children ages preschool through high school participated from carving out steps and a ramp to laying woodchips. We have three wonderful stream access points to the creek. Our school year programs have finished for the year and we will celebrate when we return together in September. In the meantime, our campers are being introduced to the steps and ramp, using them to access the creek for exploring and playing, and to get to siesta hammocks. Hammocks grace the creek bed, and are cherished for resting in nature. We are grateful for the funds we received. We were able to use materials we had on site, so the funds have been used to purchase Roots & Shoots bags from the Jane Goodall Institute for students. The remaining funds we will use to purchase a banner – we would like to get one that says Roots & Shoots. We adore Jane Goodall and have been so delighted to participate in the program. Thank you from our hearts.

Through this project I/we learned:

Students learned to work in teams to: design a map of our education center, identify problems in at the center, select one to focus on for the Roots & Shoots project, develop plans to implement the project, consult with an expert for advice and then work together with volunteers to implement the plan.

What I/we might change:

Staying focused, determined, and on task things went smoothly, so at this time, I wouldn't change anything.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Implementing the project - seeing it come to fruition, and watching the kids work with adult volunteers and each other to complete the project.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Soil erosion is one of the worlds most profound water pollution problems. Please protect our watersheds, by protecting our soils.

About Roots & Shoots

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