This fall, more than 200 students making up the entire seventh grade of Toano Middle School joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) on field experiences on Gordon Creek and the Chickahominy River. They joined CBF's Elisabeth Reed Carter Environmental Education Program on 10 different excursions in October and November.
Students not only discussed how to keep local waterways healthy, they did some investigating of their own by taking water quality tests and pulling seine nets through the river to examine fish and aquatic life. What's more, they saw abundant wildlife, including bald eagles, great blue herons, and even a giant snapping turtle.
The school has participated in CBF canoe programs for 16 years, noted Toano Middle Science Teacher Kyle Ogburn. "The Toano parents, administration, and teachers have always supported our efforts to make this happen, in spite of budget challenges," he said. "We especially like the CBF canoe rig program since it provides our seventh grade life science students with a meaningful environmental experience and with valuable background knowledge that is used throughout our curriculum. I know for a fact that students remember this trip and its lessons long after they have left middle school."
This year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has inspired over 40,000 students, teachers, and adults across the region through hands-on, outdoor educational experiences.
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