Posts Tagged ‘Teacher Training’

4 Quotes for Environmental Educators to Live By

July 25th, 2018

By: Christina Morgal, Communications Intern

Did you know that every year we help local teachers bring the wonder of the outdoors into their classrooms? Our summer workshops bring teachers out to their local parks to prepare for and experience the Bridging The Watershed activities their students will do in the upcoming school year. After taking this summer training, teachers are confident and ready to dive into the hands-on science learning activities with their classes, both inside and outside the classroom.

Recently, I shadowed a group of teachers from Charles County Public Schools as they explored renewable energy, litter prevention, and sustainability activities with our Bridging The Watershed educators.


As we learned about pollution in local waterways, I overheard these four awesome quotes:

 “Small changes lead to bigger changes.”

Sustainability will not be achieved in a day. But, if everyone makes one change in their own lives, then we would all make a big stride to save our waterways!

Program educators highlighted the ways we help each class do an action plan or project they can implement in their own lives or schools based on what they learn during their experience with us. These actions often include small changes students can make in their daily lives, such as getting a recycling bin for their home or asking their parents to use reusable shopping bags. An action plan can also include writing a letter to their principal about how they could be a “greener” school.

Small changes like these definitely add up.

“You’re not the one that caused it, but you can be the one to change it.”

The environment is not picky about who helps protect it! Although you may not have been the person to throw trash in the river, you can choose to join the fight against pollution and take action by volunteering for cleanups, educating others about sustainability, or implementing changes in your workplace, school, or home.



“We don’t see what we don’t look for.”

Have you ever looked at a plastic straw and thought about it might end up once you throw it away? Turns out, plastic straws can’t be recycled or composted, so they often end up in landfills, waterways, and communities…and are one of the top ten items found during cleanups!

During the day’s pollution cleanup activity, we collected more than thirteen bags of trash from the Potomac River shoreline in just 45 minutes, which included more than 250 plastic straws. Once you see how these everyday items end up as litter, it’s hard to walk anywhere without spotting that discarded plastic straw, bottle cap, food container, or empty bottle.


“Buy green and reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

This old adage still rings true! The three R’s mantra continues to be one of the easiest sustainability practices to implement, with three small changes that anyone can make in their daily lives:

  • Reduce the amount of waste that we produce
  • Reuse items in creative ways
  • Recycle items that can be harmful to our environment

After spending just one day with this great group of teachers, I know that the lessons they’ve learned today will go back with them to the classroom and help inspire the next generation of environmental champions. Here’s to these four overheard and unassuming ideas can help change the world for the better.

Eye Opening Event

June 21st, 2013

By Karen Miles,  Land Use/ Facilities Manager

We are in the midst of a two-week teacher institute for elementary and middle school teachers from Prince George’s County Public Schools.  This is something that I look forward to each year.  I view our work with many of the participants as molding a lump of clay and beginning the process of turning it into something of great beauty!  We open the eyes of so many people to things that are always in their surroundings, but never saw them through a lens that could process what was around them.  Each day brings a new “aha experience”.

Below are some photos of this year’s institute thus far. We will be updating throughout the week so stay tuned!


















Photos by Bill Townsend, more photos coming soon…

HBF Summer Institute

July 11th, 2012

By Karen Miles

Every year the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center staff members conduct a two-week Environmental Science Institute and I knew that this year’s institute would be different from all that preceded it. This year was marked by a very large group of elementary and middle school teachers from Prince George’s County Public Schools, many of whom were hoping to learn more about the southern Maryland environment and push past their concerns about what might be lurking around every bush and tree branch.

Aside from increased content knowledge, the main thing we want the participants to take away from the Institute is a newfound skill – an increased ability to observe their surroundings. This skill comes with trusting our staff to guide them through some planned lessons and treks on both land and water. Once the teachers are able to relax in the outdoors, they can begin to see the world in a different light.

On Day 8 of the Institute, the 38 participants, staffers, and visitors were ready to tackle canoeing on Piscataway Bay. Everyone was pre-measured for their personal flotation devices (life vests) and paddles, assigned boat mates, and received instructions on water safety and canoeing techniques. Once everyone was loaded into a flotilla of 17 boats, the teachers were expertly guided to Mockley Point where they seined for fish and learned about the natural history of the general area. We then headed to the manmade islands farther upstream, where the teachers explored evidence of sea level rise, noted the flora and fauna of the islands, and ate their lunch. Afterward, as several groups raced back to the canoe launch, I was excitedly told by several people that they were going to take their spouses on a date – renting a canoe and showing them their spanking new skills.

During the two week Institute teachers realized that they were capable of doing so much more than they thought and it felt exhilarating. I, too felt, exhilarated. This institute is so important to both the teachers and the many thousands of students that will be influenced by them in the coming years.