First Master Naturalist Class A Success!
This past summer, we were proud to host the first Maryland Master Naturalist program in Prince George's County!
20 dedicated individuals (pictured below) joined us to learn more about what leaps, lives, grows, and thrives in and around the Anacostia River, and enjoyed field trips to places throughout the watershed, including: the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Anacostia Park, Lake Artemesia, Bladensburg Waterfront Park, and the fall line along the Northwest Branch. They also enjoyed a trip to the tidal freshwater wetlands at Patuxent River Park to learn more about what we aspire to here along the Anacostia!
Enoying a hike at the fall line along the Northwest Branch (top); Karen helps band an osprey with long-time park naturalist Greg Kearns at Patuxent River Park (bottom).
After completing 60 hours of coursework this summer, these individuals have begun their volunteer service with us. At the end of this long journey, they will be officially certified as Maryland Master Naturalists!
Maria helps monitor mussels at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens!
We are so grateful for their hardwork and dedication!! So far, our Master Naturalists have:
- Built and helped install the first mussel baskets for our fledgling mussel restoration program
- Helped monitor mussel growth and survival during the first months of the mussel restoration program
- Constructed seven beautiful bluebird boxes to be installed at our meadow restoration site at the confluence next spring, where they will monitor the growth and behavior of eastern bluebirds
- Assisted with the care and maintenance of wetland plants in our nursery; potting 200+ plants (5 new plant species for us!) to be used next spring during the wetland planting season
- Greeted, engaged, and educated visitors at our 2nd annual BioBlitz
- Assisted visitors at the Festival del Rio!
- Guided students participating in our SONG program through their meadow restoration workdays at Kingman Island
- Gathered materials to create mason bee houses (an activity we do with students participating in the SONG program)
- Assisted staff with wetland seed collection, which will be used next spring in our Rice Rangers program!
- Helped maintain a bioswale at University Park Elementary School, successfully managing rainwater coming off the playground's basketball court
- Helped plant the rare Virginia mallow as part of our meadow restoration work, and planted trees along Dueling Creek to replace those lost to the emerald ash borer
- Engaged the community of Riverdale Park in the potential continued restoration of Wells Run
We are looking forward to seeing what this group accomplishes in 2019!!
Andrea smiles from behind a model of a fish at the 2018 BioBlitz (top); Joe, Dan, Carrie, Debbie, and Stephanie proudly display the bluebird boxes they built (bottom)!
If you are interested in participating in the program, applications for the 2019 summer season will be accepted beginning in February 2019.