2016, Fairfax, VA, USA
Students at Lanier Middle School put a creative twist the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “Grasses for the Masses” program to connect the concept to the classroom. Students learned that native grasses in the Chesapeake Bay can control and even alleviate toxic chemicals and out-of-balance naturally occurring elements. These grasses play an important role in reversing the Bay’s degradation. Through the Foundation’s program, volunteers grow grasses native to the Bay in their homes for 10-12 weeks with equipment supplied by the Foundation. When the grass is mature, the volunteers meet at a specific location and plant it. The students’ wanted to create an easy way to their peers to take part. By growing the native grasses in science classrooms, the program can be scaled up, increasing the positive impact the program.
Students recruited 7th grade science teachers to go through the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s free native grasses training program in January, 2017. Every 7th grade science class at Lanier will be responsible for planting and raising some of the grasses. In May of 2017, the classes will take a field trip to plant the grasses in the Chesapeake Bay. This project will receive $1,500 from Nutrien for the start-up growing kits, which include items such as circulation pumps and heaters.