Posts Tagged 'living classrooms foundation'

Thoughtful Thursdays: The Ongoing Restoration of Masonville Cove

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On Saturday, June 22 Masonville Cove was flooded with volunteers, eager to lend a hand in the restoration of this Baltimore City wilderness area.

Masonville Cove

A total of 71 people shared their time and talents to help clean-up debris along the shoreline, plant 4,000 native wetland grasses, and install 10 bird boxes. For many volunteers this was the first visit to Masonville Cove, and they were excited to learn about the wonderful local outdoor opportunities that this site has to offer.

Rep. Sarbanes at Masonville Cove

There was at least one energized return visitor – Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District. Rep. Sarbanes was at Masonville Cove for its grand opening celebration in October of 2012, and he jumped at the chance to check-in and see how the center has evolved! Saturday’s event was also a great opportunity for Rep. Sarbanes to speak about the importance of the No Child Left Inside Act. This act aims to increase environmental education and environmental literacy standards nationwide.

“It would provide some federal funding through the Department of Education to support, at the grassroots level, getting our kids outdoors; connecting the educational instruction that they get to the environment, to the outdoors. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help support student achievement by using the environment and the way the environment brings kids’ interest alive – when they’re outdoors it makes a huge difference,” Sarbanes said.

Masonville Cove

The National Aquarium is part of the nationwide No Child Left Inside Coalition as an official supporter of the NCLI Act. “For over thirty years the National Aquarium has been inspiring thousands of children each year, helping them see their connection to the aquatic world and how they can help,” said Joe Harber, Director of Education Programs, “Environmental literacy is critical to a child’s education and preparing them for the 21st century.”

We agree with Sarbanes’ sentiment that “By connecting young people to the bay, you’re making them into stewards of the environment.” The National Aquarium is looking forward to opportunities to connect all generations of stewards to the bay through restoration events at Masonville Cove and throughout the watershed. We hope to see you out there!

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Thoughtful Thursdays: Promoting Environmental Education in Baltimore

Masonville Cove is an Urban Wilderness Conservation Area and environmental education center that is creating habitat and educating residents right in Baltimore City. This site was reclaimed as waterfront access through a series of community enhancements carried out by the Maryland Port Administration as mitigation for the adjacent Dredged Material Containment Facility. More than 3,000 students per year pass through the doors of the Environmental Education Center, operated by Living Classrooms Foundation since 2009; as of October, 2012 the facility is open to the public!

This week the center is hosting its annual Environmental Education Festival for area 5th grade students, and the National Aquarium will be on site to lead them in planting salt bush shrubs along a living shoreline. Nearly 200 children will split their time between educational activities and planting a collective 300 shrubs. This will help control erosion along the water as well as provide valuable habitat for the critters that call Masonville Cove home.

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Local students planting along the shoreline at Masonville Cove.

In addition to the shrubs, this living shoreline will also be the new home to four thousand marsh grasses grown as part of our Wetland Nursery program. Students from Benjamin Franklin High School and Curtis Bay Elementary Middle School have been caring for the wetland grasses in ponds on their school grounds since last fall, and finally have the chance to make them part of the restoration of their own local cove!

Now the Cove needs your help! If you want to have a hand in the restoration, join us on Saturday, June 22nd for a volunteer Field Day! Activities will include marsh grass planting and debris cleanup along the shore, as well as native garden maintenance and bird box installation. The event is family-friendly, however the minimum age is 10 and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


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