By: Maura Duffy
This week, the South River Federation hosted its first school field trip to our office. A group of first graders from St. Anne's School of Annapolis and a group of second graders from Mills Parole Elementary School attended the field trip, with the total attending students being over thirty.
The trip was an event to denote the completion of The Water Project. The Water Project is a partnership with both St. Anne’s and Mills Parole. The program primarily worked after school with a group of bilingual second graders and covered topics including water quality, stormwater management, and environmental stewardship.
For the field trip, all of the students were divided into small groups. Each group participated in an activity at six different stations throughout the day. Stations were dedicated to a wide variety of activities such as tree planting, water quality testing, fish printing, seining, and a scavenger hunt. The children were also able to take a ride on “Remedy,” the South River Federation’s boat. For many of the students, this was their first time on a boat. The children loved the experience, with most saying that the boat ride was their favorite part of the day.
Each station provided a hands-on activity for the children. At the water quality station, students were able to test the temperature, salinity, pH, and nutrients to distinguish between river water and tap water samples. At the seining station, seine nets were used to capture critters such as small fish and mud crabs. A microscope connected to a laptop was available for the children to examine what they found. One of the highlights of the trip was the tree painting that the children helped us create. With the help of our volunteers, each child painted their hand to make leaf handprints on a canvas tree trunk. The event was capped off by a ceremonial planting of the Children's Environmental Earth Month Tree. We would like to thank Caroline Rodriguez for coordinating this event and the Chesapeake Bay Trust for funding this event.