Posts Tagged 'fort mchenry national monument and historic shrine'

Thoughtful Thursdays: The Chesapeake Conservation Corps

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For the fourth year in a row, the National Aquarium has been chosen as a host site for a Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) volunteer. This program, developed by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, matches young people (volunteers, ages 18-25) with environmental organizations throughout the region; providing leadership and career training experience for the intern and additional program capacity for the host organization. The program provides service-learning opportunities and green job training to its volunteers through hands-on environmental, leadership, and technical training opportunities for a paid, one-year term of service.

As a host organization, the Aquarium benefits by gaining an energetic volunteer whose one year commitment translates into meaningful improvements in program capacity. Because CCC is not designed to replace full-time staff, there is a real opportunity to use the time and talents of the volunteers to expand upon and improve programs already in place. Stephanie Pully, our 2012-2013 volunteer, used additional grant funds from Chesapeake Bay Trust, to enhance our Fort McHenry Wetland field station for educational programs surrounding the theme of BayScaping.

stephanie pully

Funds from CBT’s mini grant program for CCC volunteers made it possible to improve the native gardens at our field station and install different educational amenities. In addition to the installation of native plants, plant ID markers, a butterfly box and watering stations, Stephanie also lead the effort to install an outdoor white board next to the rain garden to help use the gardens as an educational station for students on field trips.

After a very successful year, I’m happy to report that Stephanie officially graduated from the CCC Program on August 13th! With a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland under her belt, Stephanie hopes to continue developing initiatives that help to conserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay Watershed!

Applications for the 2014-2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program can be found on the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s website beginning in the Spring of 2014.

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Thoughtful Thursdays: Supporting Urban Parks!

For more than a decade, our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) of staff and volunteers has worked to restore habitat for wildlife and maintain the trails at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore.

fort mchenry before and after

Together, we’ve collected more than 600,000 pieces of debris! Our efforts at Fort McHenry are about more than just cleanup! Our work there includes everything from trail maintenance and light construction to planting native flowers and butterfly gardens.

All of these efforts add up to create a valuable green space in the heart of Baltimore City that is utilized by hundreds of species of birds, reptiles like box turtles and diamondback terrapins, and aquatic critters like juvenile blue crabs and small fish!

As part of a partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association and ioby, our cleanup at Fort McHenry has been selected as an urban park project worth crowdfunding! The term crowdfunding refers to a collective effort by individuals to financially support a certain initiative online.  Click here to support our efforts to restore habitat for wildlife, remove debris and maintain the trails at this National Monument!

The goal of this partnership is to finally take the support and advocacy for national parks into the digital age. We’re proud to be a community partner for this pilot program and can only hope that this is one of MANY crowdfunding projects we see across the country. The beauty of programs like this is that even if you can’t literally get your hands dirty, you can still contribute to causes YOU believe in!

Already supported our crowdfunding page on ioby’s site? About to? Help us spread the word online! Share this link on your Facebook page or on Twitter using #UrbanParksIOBY! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Give a day for the Bay!

The National Aquarium has been engaging community volunteers and students in restoring a tidal marsh adjacent to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine since 1999.  In that time, more than 4,000 citizens have planted more than 55,000 native wetland grasses and removed more than 500,000 pieces of debris! The wetland is also used as a living classroom for hundreds of local Baltimore City students each year, giving them an opportunity to see local wildlife flourishing in the middle of an urban environment and teaching them the importance of habitat conservation and clean water.

You can help continue this tradition by taking part in our upcoming Fort McHenry Field Day event!

Fort McHenry Field Day!

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Saturday, October 6, 2012

Join the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) for debris cleanup and garden and trail maintenance at Fort McHenry on October 6, 2012. Our fall field day is a part of National Public Lands Day and the International Coastal Cleanup.

Click here to register!

Our coastal wetlands need YOUR help!

Click here to find out more about upcoming conservation events! 

Pre-registration is required for all conservation events. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Please contact conserve@aqua.org if you have questions or would like additional details.


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