Whoosh! The flap of the cormorant’s wings lifted it away from the water. It didn’t seem too perturbed by its missed catch. It would have another shot. Twenty yards downriver a snowy white egret stood perfectly still, a lesson in elegance and poise. Red-eared sliders, true to their name, slid one-by-one from their sunning logs into the water at our approach. A bald eagle, barely visible from its great height, surveyed all below.
This is just a glimpse of my first trip out onto the Anacostia River and from this experience, I could tell the watershed and I would have a full year’s worth of adventures and stories to tell by the end of next August.
Lunch for a cormorant.
I’m Ann, the Anacostia Watershed Society’s (AWS) 3rd Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteer. For the next year I will work with Ariel and Chris in our Environmental Education program, engaging K-12 students in three-part educational experiences that get them out on the river, helping with stewardship activities, and connecting concepts in the classroom. My trip out on the river is similar to what over 2000 students will experience during this school year!
I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2009. While I was lucky enough to grow up with woods and a creek, and all that those entail, in my backyard, I know that not everyone has these resources at their disposal. The great thing about the Anacostia River and its tributaries is that they are, quite literally, the backyard to residents in Prince George’s County and DC and that AWS allows opportunities for folks to experience all that the watershed has to offer. For me growing up in suburban Louisville, bald eagles were reserved for wildlife programs on TV, the zoo, and patriotic T-shirts. So, seeing one on a midday cruise on the Anacostia was eye-opening and really showed me what an amazing resource we have here not only for educational purposes but for recreation and rejoining community members with the river.
All of our interactions with the river and the watershed are, from a big-picture perspective, trying to drum up interest and highlight the health, environmental, and cultural reasons as to why the watershed is so important and deserves attention. I look forward to sharing the river with many students and teachers this year and playing my part in restoring the Anacostia so that all people can rediscover its wonders.
A box turtle I (almost) ran across on my daily bike commute on the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River Trail.
If you would like to contact me throughout the year, please do! email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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