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.

I'm in Japan!  Where's my Purple Line in DC?!?!

I am currently on a two week trip to Japan with the Japan-American Watershed Stewardship program (JAWS).  I am helping to lead 30 high school students from all over the US around Japan to look at watersheds  and wetlands.  My purpose is to help interpret the watershed issues in the US and Japan, help students synthesize what they see and learn, and prepare them to return to the US to conduct a watershed and culture project in their communities.

Paddling the Potomac for canoe safety

AWS staff and interns get ready to head out onto the Potomac.

On Wednesday, AWS staff and interns participated in an American Canoe Association safety training on the Potomac River.  We feel this is an important certification for anyone who will be leading canoe trips on the Anacostia.  The workshop was lead by Byron Bradley, a certified canoe safety instructor who is also the founder of “Come Out and Play! Adventures”, an outdoor adventure sports company.

Chesapeake Bay Trust helps AWS educate more than 200 students

This spring, the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) enabled the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) to educate more than 200 area students in their three-part environmental education programs.  CBT funded a program that partnered AWS with Live It Learn It, a local nonprofit focused on bringing hands-on education to DC students.  Together, AWS and Live It Learn It educators taught students about the Anacostia River both in the classroom and during pontoon field experiences.  Students and their teachers also took part in trash cleanups at Bladensburg Waterfront Park after learning the importance of keeping trash off the ground and out of the river!

Exciting Week for Environmental Literacy!

This week marked several milestones in the effort to increase the environmental literacy of students in our region.

On Tuesday the Maryland State Board of Education voted to require that students get a “comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education.” Maryland is the first state in the nation to implement an environmental literacy graduation requirement.  This new requirement necessitates that school districts develop plans to ensure that environmental education is incorporated into the curriculum, and that all students are environmentally literate.

Also on Tuesday of this week, the District Department of the Environment hosted a Kick-Off Event to bring all the stakeholders in the District together to develop an Environmental Literacy Plan for the District.  As mandated by the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, the District must develop an Environmental Literacy Plan by June 30, 2012.



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