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Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum

The leaves are great examples of how each of us is different and on a different journey.

Each leaf is unique as it grows and thrives connected to the tree, but that’s not all that makes a leaf unique. Once the leaf has completed the cycle of growth, it begins its journey back down to the ground.

Watching a leaf fall from a tree, at the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum, I realized how each leaf is different in the way they fall as well.

Each leaf has its own way of returning to the roots. Each person has their own path that allows them to come back to realizing who they are and their place on this earth.

When we experience this connection to earth, we become its stewarts and will to protect and preserve this beautiful planet.

The 14th annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum was full of passion, inspiration and excellence, reminding us why we do what we do to take care of the water and the land.


Mamie A. Parker was the keynote speaker at the forum,  and she was so inspiring.  She spoke about how we as advocates, educators and stewarts of the watershed, can overcome obstacles to keep going and to keep growing. One of the big takeaways was eliminating the 4 C’s from our thoughts and speech: complaining, criticizing, comparing, and competing.  When we do those 4 things, we really separate ourselves from one another and therefore can not grow and succeed.

We have to do it together, as a team; If you want to go fast, go alone… if you want to go far, go together. 

Our first step towards helping the Bay is collaboration.

“Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean.” -Sylvia Earle

One of the sessions I attended at the forum was called Spiritual Voices in Nature.  We walked through the woods with four faith leaders. Each leading the way back to nature through their own individual ceremony.  It was an amazing experience to be in nature, listening to one another share our connection to the earth and spirit; something that I wish to be involved in more this year.

My second year at the forum taught me many new things! Live staking is when you cut branches from trees and stake them in the ground which triggers hormones to make the branch root and bud!

I learned about the importance of all aspects of our community working together for the good of the earth! The port of Baltimore works closely with the community to help handle the dredge material in an environmentally beneficial way for the whole community, through the creation of Masonville Cove. Located in South Baltimore, Masonville Cove is the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, and home to a state-of-the-art green building nature center and beautiful waterfront public trails.


The forum also had many wonderful interactive art activities. One of which is called the Climate Ribbon Project! The Climate Ribbon is an arts ritual to grieve what each of us stands to lose if we do not take care of our earth, and affirm our solidarity as we unite.


I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent BCPS and Ridgely at the Watershed Forum, and to learn new things to share with others!

Thank you Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay  , and the National Conservation Training Center for hosting such an amazing event, and a big thank you to the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds for the scholarship!

<3 Migwetch


Art Art Class Education Existence Green Lifestyle Most Popular Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Save the Bay Sculptures

This quarter my students completed a recycled sculpture project that focused on how we can be more “waste free” and what we can do with the current plastic waste that we have accumulated.

I have been saving plastic containers and trinkets for this project, but students also went home and found plastic materials to bring in for their sculptures.

Students first watched this video about the impact of plastics and pollution in our water!


Then each student was asked to research and choose one animal from the Chesapeake bay area to create as a sculpture using plastic waste.

Students loved the challenge of using recycled materials to create something new.  The idea of impermanence and destroying something to bring life to a new idea, was a topic middle school students enjoy discussing.

Once students created their recycled material armature for their sculptures, they used different methods for embellishment. Some students used old yarn, recycled paper, random plastic beads, and cardboard.

This was a great project to get kids aware of the impact our choices make on our planet. We challenged each other to go waste free for a day! Some kids said it was really hard if not impossible, without a change from their parents.  This is also a great lesson in how others choices affect what we can or can not do, and the students felt more passionate about sharing with their families the importance of reducing plastic waste.


Divine I Am Earth Education Existence Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Last weekend I had the privilege to attend the Chesapeake Watershed Forum at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown West Virginia, on the Potomac River.


A while back when I decided to take on the green school coordinator position for my school, I went into research mode so that I could find opportunities to learn more about what it means to be a green school. I found the forum through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.  It sounded very interesting and there was a scholarship being given so I registered and applied.  I received the acceptance email on my birthday!

I was very excited to be attending something new and getting to learn more about how I can help our water and our land. I never expected what the weekend actually had in store…learning, networking and new perspective on my life’s path.

I have always been drawn to the water, and earth. My grandmother was a woman of the earth… Ojibwe are plains Indians and spend a lot of time with the land so it runs in my blood. This weekend I really began to understand how land and water conservation is vital to protecting the ecosystems around us.

The NCTC has a beautiful campus, great facilities and delicious food! The staff was friendly, helpful and polite.


The forum is presented by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay along with many other amazing non-profits such as Chesapeake Bay Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Park Service.

I received my scholarship from the Chesapeake Bay Trust,

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Coastal Bays, and Youghiogheny River. Created in 1985 by the Maryland General Assembly, our goal is to increase stewardship through grant programs, special initiatives, and partnerships that support K-12 environmental education, on-the ground watershed restoration, community engagement, and the underlying science of these three realms. Through our grants, the Trust engages hundreds of thousands of students and volunteers in projects that have a measurable impact on the natural resources of our region.  Grantees include schools, local governments, community groups, faith-based groups, watershed organizations, and other not-for-profit entities.


I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow as an educator and as an earth conscious individual. I learned about testing water with ALLARM, surveying the areas around the water to look for specific things that tell if the water quality will be balanced. I also learned about MWEE’s, Environmental Education, and a lot of grants that are available! Shore Rivers and Anacostia Watershed were also there sharing their journey and progress with educating citizen scientists to amazing projects happening in Washington D.C.


The people who attended the forum were all very inviting and accepting. Everyone was really kind and open to sharing and helping. The networking at this forum was so beneficial and I think I’ve even made a few new friends.


There was a LOT of art here as well, which made me super happy! They had a “poster contest” to show off information about successful projects.


The forum started out with art, and cognitive mapping. We were each asked to create a map of the place that makes us want to work with conserving the land and water.  I drew the blue heron I see at Gunpowder Falls.


There were other small installations such as the #bethelight and #postsecret.


This was a great experience, there should definitely be more teachers in attendance, and it will be great to see more educational sessions next year! Thank you again to everyone for hosting and presenting such a wonderful forum.

Migwetch <3
Raine Dawn