SEA Fall 2016

Theme: Celebrating Parks in Your Community!

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016, but they are celebrating all year long! We will too, by celebrating parks in our community as our theme this fall. Parks… some are small (think neighborhood park); some are big (think Rock Creek Park or Fort Dupont Park). Yet, they all provide something essential to a healthy, green lifestyle — access to green space and a break from roads, concrete, and buildings. Research shows that trees and green space can decrease crime, increase property values, positively impact human health, improve the health of our environment (e.g., trees' roots hold the soil in place so less washes into the Anacostia River during rainstorms), provide habitat for wildlife, and more. According to the August 2013 issue of "Sustainable DC Monthly: Taking Care of Nature," D.C. has 7,679 acres of parkland that make up 20% of the city's total land area. In 2013, the Trust for Public Land ranked D.C. 6th in the country for access to parks. Way to go, D.C.!

This fall semester, SEA will explore and participate in activities in several parks around our city. How many parks can you name in your community? How many have you already visited? Join us to add to your list!





Introductions; discussion on expectations and semester theme; and team building & environmental education activities.

Sasha Bruce Center & neighborhood parks, DC


Huntley Meadows Park
Explore the importance of water, wetlands, and parks to wildlife and you. We'll take a wetland walk and do hands-on activities in the park.

Alexandria, VA


Rock Creek Park
Participate in a fall foliage hike in this National Park. Learn about native trees and wildlife. Visit the Nature Center and Horse Stables.

Washington, DC


National Mall
Act as citizen scientists as we learn about and help conduct a Tree Inventory with Casey Trees in this National Park. We'll learn about measuring tools and collect data to be used by scientists and research professionals!

Washington, DC


Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Conduct a mini bioblitz (biological survey) to learn about many of the species present in this park. This somewhat hidden gem in DC has roots in a 1926 act of Congress to preserve forests, water quality, and the recreation value of waterways in DC.

Washington, DC


Anacostia Park
Tour the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) and get an up close look at more than 40 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic plants, and invertebrates that can be found in the wetlands, streams, and rivers of the District, as well as in the Chesapeake Bay.

Washington, DC


Potomac Overlook Regional Park
See live, native reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds of prey and take a naturalist-led hike through this park in the Potomac River Watershed.

Arlington, VA


Fort Dupont Park
Bike through this National Park and learn about its history, cultural and recreation value, and importance to the community...of people, plants and animals.

Washington, DC


NO SEA - Thanksgiving Break



West River Overnight
Participate in team building, environmental education, and campfire activities. Always a highlight of the semester!

West River, MD


National Parks Adventure 3D
“Visit” amazing, inspiring national parks throughout our country as we view this IMAX film to culminate our semester! Not like any other movie you've seen before, it will take you on an adventure and feed the explorer in all of us!

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, DC




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If you are interested in involving your students in this exciting project, please contact us for additional information.