The Rice Rangers program allows teachers and students to grow wetland plants from seed in their classrooms and then plant them along the Anacostia River! Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) educators will also engage students during a boat trip on the river and through classroom visits. Professional development will be provided for teachers to prepare them for this program.
Rice Rangers features these components, all led by AWS educators:
During the course of the project, students will investigate the Anacostia Watershed’s built and natural environments, and analyze the effects of human activities that alter the equilibrium of natural processes. Specifically, participants will learn that stormwater runoff from the built environment contributes to a variety of pollution issues, which pose serious challenges to a watershed system. The students actively learn to restore equilibrium of natural processes through wetland restoration.
Teachers and students will prepare a project by designing a small-scale wetland restoration project in the tidal marshes of the Anacostia. Students will grow the native plants from seed in their classrooms, and design and implement a wetland garden with AWS staff in the spring. Through these restoration projects, students will increase the Anacostia River’s filtering capacity and restore natural habitat within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
At the program’s conclusion, each class will reflect on the importance of their projects by participating in a field study via boat trip on the river. In this setting, they will observe the diversity of life that the ecosystem of the Anacostia can support, and gain a greater understanding of how their actions can affect the health of the Anacostia and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.
Professional development will be provided for teachers to prepare them for this program. This program equips teachers with the training and materials necessary to raise native wetland plants in the classrooms, and provides them with related standard-based lessons that can be tied into classroom instruction.