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Chesapeake Bay Field Office Connects Students With Nature Using Schoolyard Habitats
Northeast Region, May 4, 2010
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Before English ivy dominates entrance, Janet Norman USFWS
Before English ivy dominates entrance, Janet Norman USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Students plant native asters and biofuel switchgrass, Janet Norman USFWS
Students plant native asters and biofuel switchgrass, Janet Norman USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a
Students know their watershed address, Janet Norman USFWS
Students know their watershed address, Janet Norman USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

Chesapeake Bay Field Office (CBFO) biologist Janet Norman organized structured chaos of 400 Hillsmere Elementary students planting and landscaping their schoolyard for Earth Week. Over 370 native perennials, shrubs, and trees, and hardy annuals were added to diversify the schoolyard habitat and bring pollinators closer to students.

 

Plants were obtained using funds from the Hillsmere Parent-Teacher Association and a grant from the Unity Gardens foundation.  Technical assistance from Ms. Norman was used as an in-kind match to help obtain the grant. Ms. Norman used the office's publication "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping" to select plants according to site conditions on the schoolyard. CBFO even donated excess black-eyed Susan plants from the office's BayScape garden to help ensure every child was involved in planting. 

 

In addition, Ms. Norman provided a watershed lesson to 4th graders who then inspected their storm drains and stenciled "South River Drainage" on the pavement, so other students would learn their watershed address.  Students searched for oak seedlings growing too close to the building, and transplanted them to extend the forested buffer around their wetland. Students, teachers and parent volunteers enjoyed learning outdoors feeling proud of their accomplishments to enhance their schoolyard habitat.

 

For more information contact:

Janet Norman

410/573-4533

janet_norman@fws.gov


Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov



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