Georgetown Day School Gets a Jump on Spring!

The AWS education and stewardship teams were fortunate to have sixteen students from Georgetown Day School over on February 28 for a morning of watershed education, hard work, and even a little bit of fun. These students spent most of their time planting rice sprouts in preparation for a wetland stewardship project in several weeks. So far they have been responsible for creating a healthy sand and soil mixture, filling several flats with this mixture, and then very delicately placing the germinated seeds just under the surface of the soil. All told, we now have 512 new rice “plugs” under grow lights here in our office. It is obvious that these students did an excellent job, as many of these rice plants have sprouted stems of a couple centimeters and a few even have tiny leaves already! This was our first Rice Rangers planting activity of the season and it has set a great precedent for our work to come. Thanks to the Georgetown Day School students for all their hard work!

AWS Species Special: The Paw Paw

This time around, we're focusing on a sweeter species than usual. The paw paw is a well-known but little-publicized fruit, native to almost the entire East Coast and central Midwest. Its use has been traced back to early indigenous peoples in America, from ropes and nets to a vital food source.

This tree is the northernmost tropical fruit this side of the Equator, and as such has many similarities to pineapples, mangoes, and bananas. Its texture is rough and it has many seeds, and it also doesn't preserve well, so it is not popular in grocery stores. It is, however, quickly becoming the topic of study of many nutritionists as the next "superfood," similar to the pomegranate in its rich nutritional content.

From Seeds to Unique Habitat – AWS Interns help collect native plant species to restore wetlands and meadows

By  Emily Stransky, Fall Stewardship Intern

Native Shrubs Help Restore Habitat

Support the Highways Bee Act

What is the Highways BEE Act?

The Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment Act, H.R. 2381, or Highways BEE Act is a national legislation that was introduced in the House of Representaatives during the National Pollinator Week, on June 23, 2011.  The Highways BEE Act proposes important economic and conservation benefits through integrated vegetation management (IVM) practices on Federal and state highway right-of-ways (ROWs) managed by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs).  There are about 17 million acres of ROW's where the proposed reductions in mowing and maintenance could reduce costs for State Departments of Transportation.  No new monies are requested and the proposed bill is actually designed to save $$$ for states.

Four Great Native Summer Wildflowers for your Garden

Written by: Laura Menyuk, AWS Summer Stewardship Intern

With heat indexes hovering in the triple digits in the Washington region -- which Washington Post readers  have affectionaly called the “sweat ceiling” -- it seemed a better day to contemplate a garden, then to actually be out in one... the kind of garden that can beat the heat and looks nice as you contemplate safely from your air conditioned home.

Here at AWS we've had many indoor activities to keep us busy as we prep our historic office home, the George Washington House, for the bicentennial celebrations of the War of 1812.  This home is beautiful and serves the important purpose of helping us restore the Anacostia Watershed and its natural historic heritage.  Unsurprisingly, the flowers in our front yard rain gardens, with less hype and t-shirts, do the same.  Here is some information about four amazing wildflowers we have in our two raingardens that are currently in bloom.

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