Pictured (left to right) are SMMHS Principal Tracy Elzey, MRC Education & Outreach Coordinator Elle O’Brien, MRC board member Meta Boyd, and TCPS Superintendent of Schools Kelly Griffith. photo courtesy of TCPS

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) was recognized as St. Michaels Middle High School Partner of the Year at the Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS) Community Partner Recognition Breakfast on May 24, 2017. MRC has been working with TCPS for the past five years in a robust and engaging environmental education program, Students for Streams. This past year, MRC educators provided multiple in-class and outdoor lessons teaching students about local watersheds, how the school may impact local rivers, and how students can help to improve local water quality.

MRC obtained a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant for the Students for Streams program, which promotes healthy waterways by working with students in environmental science classes across the entire Midshore. Since last August, MRC educators Elle O’Brien and Suzanne Sullivan brought programing to each school once or twice a month. Activities included planting plans, oyster dissections, schoolyard assessments, and field trips to Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge. MRC helped students understand the connection between human actions and water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. They led students in creating action projects that will have a positive impact on local water quality.

St. Michaels Middle High School (SMMHS) became a leader in student-led action projects, planting over 200 native plant species, painting a beautiful Chesapeake-themed storm drain mural, and reinvigorating the school’s recycling and waste management programs. Perhaps the largest accomplishment is being awarded the national recognition of  becoming a Maryland Green School!

“We choose Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy for our Community Partner Award this year because of their quality programing and commitment in my classroom,” says SMMHS science teacher Lauren Greer. “Their education team is great to work with and extremely supportive of the projects in the classroom. They have a natural ability to work with students and know how to inspire motivation in every student in the classroom. Because of their support with students’ action projects, the St. Michaels Middle High School campus was able to become a Green School.”

MRC Education & Outreach Coordinator Elle O’Brien says, “The students at St. Michaels Middle High School and all of our partner schools are incredibly creative, inquisitive, and enthusiastic to get their hands dirty and work toward a healthier Chesapeake Bay. MRC thanks the dedicated teachers in this program and their commitment to educating future environmental stewards.”

MRC is thrilled to announce that Students for Streams is expanding to work with every 9th grader in Talbot County in the 2017-2018 school year through continued funding from Chesapeake Bay Trust.”

To learn more about Students for Streams, please contact Elle O’Brien at elle@midshoreriverkeeper.org, 443-385-0511.

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