Local third and fifth graders complete the Grasses in Classes program by planting shoreline grasses to restore our environment
As the school year draws to an end, students across Okaloosa and Walton Counties are wrapping up a year-long restoration project to protect our environment. Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, approximately 1,300 students participated in Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance’s Grasses in Classes Program.
The program encourages students to develop an interest in the local environment by growing shoreline grasses near their school. Throughout May, these students are introduced to a hands-on science program which includes a field trip to Choctawhatchee Bay. Rotating through stations, students explore the habitat they were taught all year, and part of the project includes planting cordgrass at a restoration site.
“The field trips provide a perfect opportunity for students to connect their science education to their local environment,” comments Brittany Tate, Education Coordinator for CBA, “The experience students’ gain encourages them to become an active part of the Choctawhatchee Bay watershed.”
CBA provided teachers in Okaloosa and Walton Counties the equipment and materials required to grow shoreline grasses at their schools. In addition to maintaining salt marsh nurseries, students participated in monthly activities administered by an educational teamed staffed through an AmeriCorps partnership. Each lesson was correlated to meet Florida’s science standards, and focused on the relationship between shoreline grasses and the health of the Choctawhatchee Bay.
Throughout May, CBA will host 14 field trips at restoration sites along the bay. The students will plant close to 2,000 shoreline grasses by the end of the month, which in return, will help to slow erosion and provide a critical, intertidal habitat.
For more information about the Grasses in Classes field trips, or to schedule an interview, please contact Brittany Tate at (850) 217-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.