Under the leadership of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, students at the Arthur Middleton Elementary School in Charles County, Maryland transformed an unused part of their schoolyard into an outdoor classroom. More than 600 students planted over 13,000 Maryland native plants, creating a wetland that will also be used as a teaching area. Students from several middle schools helped with the planting too.
The wetland classroom will provide teachers with a site to teach about the environment while providing habitat for wildlife. Waterfowl, songbirds, frogs, turtles and small mammals will find water, food, resting areas and nesting sites in the low marsh and surrounding upland.
A teaching area in the middle of the project will allow students to conduct experiments, create art or write essays. The project is also part of the County’s effort to reduce pollutants that runoff from impervious surfaces into local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
The Arthur Middleton project is just one of three community wetland projects to be completed this year through a grant by the Chesapeake Bay Trust to Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Center and Charles County Public Schools.The Schoolyard Habitat Program helps teachers and students create wildlife habitat on school grounds. For more information about the program, contact Carolyn Kolstad at 410/573-4545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.