By: Bidemi Oladiran (AmeriCorps VISTA)
On February 20, 2016 the Old Court Middle School Bay stewards Watershed Saturday program convened. The students discussed how to properly create a timeline for the various due dates of their final Bay Stewards watershed projects. The Saturday program was made possible by a partial grant from BG&E. This program fosters a partnership between UME and Old Court middle school with a goal to teach students how their environment is impacted by our actions and how to be environmental stewards.
After the students discussed their projects they came together to decorate two rain barrels. Rain barrels can be used to store water during rainfalls. The collected water can be used to water plants during the summer months thus allowing people to conserve more water. The themes for the rain barrels focused on nature and under sea creatures. While the students were painting I interviewed them on what interesting things they learned, students Kendyl, Chelsea, Chaya and Tatiyana who were working on the nature theme rain barrel replied “pervious and impervious surfaces.” During the Saturday programs they learned that impervious surfaces like concrete pavement causes water quality degradation while pervious surfaces like soil helps to reduce pollution and replenish ground water.
As the students continued with their artistic endeavor, I asked them what they liked most about the Saturday program, one of the students Camiryn replied “being creative, and learning more about my environment.” When I asked how they would get a friend to join the Bay stewards program another student with a similar sounding name Camren replied “entice them with food and tell them what we do, how just joining can make an impact in society.”
I also asked what type of things they learned that they can use every day, Frank replied “you can get water through grass which is better for the environment.” Since grass is a pervious surface the water that sip into the soil can help prevent soil erosion. The students were able complete their rain barrel decorations with a variety of under sea creatures (mostly fictional) and plants found in nature.