You Can be a Watershed Hero: MD Green School Youth Summit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 2:44pm

LFWA Youth Summit

If you were at Sandy Point State Park on June 3, you would have seen 3,700 k-12 kids all engaged in learning about environmental issues. And at one of the environmental learning stations, you would have found four LFWA representatives deep in conversation with students about how they can be a watershed hero.

The students were there for a Youth Summit hosted by Maryland Green Schools, a MAEOE program that has certified over 190 schools in Maryland as "Green" for their commitment to environmental education at all levels of the curriculum and to changing their school environment to be a model of environmentally responsible behavior.

We focused on three areas at the LFWA learning booth. Toby and Abby Kathan had plant samples and talked about conquering alien and invasive plants. (Toby also designed two very cool watershed hero action figures for our display boards.) Greta Swanson had a hands-on trash sorting demonstration. Just by recycling, composting and donating used clothing, kids were able to reduce the bag of household trash from a huge bag to very small box full. LFWA Youth Summit

And I presented a demonstration on how bay friendly landscaping controls stormwater run off. Using small watering cans, we made it rain on a impervious surface and then added sponges to simulate landscaping. We then made it rain again and squeezed the water out of the sponges. We were able to contain 75 percent of the run-off on the property.

btw, we have three Green Schools in our watershed - Westland Middle School and Westbrook and Bethesda Elementary Schools. Learn about the program at the MAEOE website -

I just got trained to be a Green School Leader so LFWA can mentor other schools in the watershed through the process. We're hoping that Somerset Elementary School will complete the application process next year. If you know of a school that is interested in applying, please have them contact me - and I can help them get started.

Thank you to Toby, Abby and Greta for coming out and to Maryland Green Schools for inviting us.


photos by David and Abby Kathan