Rice Rangers - Wetland Restoration
The Rice Rangers program is a comprehensive three-part program that engages elementary students throughout the watershed in wetland restoration.
During the course of the program, students investigate the Anacostia Watershed’s built and natural environments; analyze the impact of human activity on the Anacostia River; and learn how wetlands increase the Anacostia River’s filtering capacity, as well as create habitat for native wildlife.
Through this program, students are actively engaged in the restoration of wetlands along the river at Kingman and Heritage Marshes in Washington, DC. Students grow wetland plants from seed in their classrooms using growlight stands and materials provided by the Anacostia Watershed Society. Students grow a mix of wetland species, including wild rice, a historically abundant and important plant that is making a come back along the river - thanks to the efforts of students and volunteers working with AWS!
Students from Maury Elementary show off their dirty gloves after a morning of hard work; students from Two River Public Charter School transplant their seedlings into a floating wetland!
A class visit led by our trained environmental educators teaches students about the value of wetland ecosystems and prepares students for two separate field trips. One field trip includes a guided boat tour of the Anacostia River; the other includes hands-on restoration work! During the first 15 years of our Rice Rangers program, students directly transplanted what they had grown in the classroom into the mudflats of the Anacostia River! Students now typically help construct and plant floating wetlands that are launched at various locations along the river.
Program at a Glance
- Engages elementary students from Maryland and Washington, D.C. in wetland restoration (can be adapted for other grades)
- Offered March - May annually
- Includes a class visit from AWS staff, a boat tour of the Anacostia River, and a restoration field trip to Kingman Island in Washington, D.C.
- Aligned with NGSS standards for 4th grade
Students at Two Rivers Public Charter School care for their plants in their classroom; students at Spellman Elementary plant seeds in their classroom.
Learn more about our wetland restoration work by visiting our wetland restoration page.
Learn more about wild rice along the Anacostia River by visiting the blog.