Students from Mt. Rainier Elementary School Collect Seeds of Native Plants

By: Carey Goldman, Stewardship Fall Intern

AWS awarded The North Face Explore Fund Grant

The North Face has awarded a $2,500 grant to the Anacostia Watershed Society to help children explore the outdoors through our Rice Rangers program.  AWS was selected from hundreds of applications because of our commitment to innovative hands-on watershed education.  In the final grant cycle of 2011, The North Face awarded $125,000 Explore Fund grants to 51 projects helping more than 30,000 kids to connect to nature.

“We believe in the importance of bringing youth together from diverse backgrounds and providing them with opportunities to get outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face.  “We support organizations that work to create these opportunities for youth because we’ve seen firsthand how these programs can ignite a passion for the outdoors and teach them the importance of protecting the places we play for generations to come.”

ANA-11 on 11.11.11

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs


The Anacostia River at the Commodore Joshua Barney Bridge in Bladensburg, MD

The Maryland State Highway Administration has been hard at work placing Anacostia River and Tributary signs thoughout the watershed from the Beltway to Bladensburg and everywhere in between.  You should see them on major state and interstate roads where they cross a particuar tributary.  Here are two that highlight the rivers main tribuataries:


The Northwest Branch crossing at Route 1 in North Brentwood/Hyattsville, MD


The Northeast Branch crossing at Alt US Route 1 in Edmonston/Hyattsville, MD

New educator, new experiences, new understandings

AWS participates in DC Teachers' Night


Last night, AWS took part in the 5th Annual DC Teachers' Night at the US Botanic Garden.  This event, hosted by the DC Environmental Education Consortium, provides an opportunity for DC teachers to learn about all the Environmental Education opportunities available in the District.  The event was attended by more than 100 DC Teachers who had the opportunity to network with 35 different exhibitors.

We were happy to see many teachers who have participated in our AWS Education Programs at the event.  It was a great opportunity to network with our existing partners, as well as make connections with new teachers.

Environmental Educator Position Opening

As mentioned on the blog last week, Wendy Van Norden recently accepted a position at NASA.  We were sad to see her go, but we know we'll see her again at future AWS events.  We are hoping to hire someone to fill Wendy's spot within the next few weeks.  Please see the position description below, and spread the word to anyone who you think would be a good fit for the Education Team here at AWS.

Environmental Educator Position Description

Please contact Ariel Trahan for more information - atrahan@anacostiaws.org

Dust in the Anacostia?

Observing a possible oil spill from a helicopter doesn’t quite provide a perspective accurate enough to draw any reasonable conclusions.  We're out on the Anacostia River nearly every day and are very familiar with the way the river looks under many different conditions.  Let me share with you the observations that a few students and I made on Wednesday out on the Anacostia River in canoes. 

This is Jack (pictured above) looking at the water on the main stem of the Anacostia near Kenilworth Marsh.  You can see where his paddle stirred up the water.  Light brown mixing with dark brown, but after a few minutes Jack realized that the two types of water weren’t mixing at all.  “It’s like when you put milk in coffee, except that it never mixed up.”

My Top Five Memories of AWS

In the two years I have worked as an educator at AWS, I have had so many wonderful experiences and opportunities.  Although I have many warm memories, my top five are as follows!

#5. Conducting service projects with students.
It always amazes me how engaged and excited students can get about trash clean ups, wetland plantings, etc.  I especially enjoyed the storm drain marking projects I did with students.  Every group I worked with, whether they were 8 or 18, got really into these!



Students from DC's Emery Education Campus mark storm drains in their neighborhood.

#4. Building relationships with teachers and students.
It is an awesome feeling returning to a school and feeling so welcomed and appreciated!  In two of the DC schools where I became a regular, I often got hugs from 20 kids in a row as I walked down the hall!

A Green School in Japan

We visited a Japanese green school today!  This reinforced for me that green design is the balance of human life and activity with local surroundings.


Poster explaining how the snow is used

One of the green features of this green school is to use snow for air conditioning in the summer.  In this region of Niigata approx 10 feet of snow accumulates every winter.  People often enter and exit their homes through the second story windows, but the summers are hot enough to grow tomatoes.


I met a "snow man" and he had a solution to save energy of electricity for air conditioning.

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