November 15, 2013
In response to Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge, HCC will bring to campus over 400 students from Bonnie Branch, Clarksville and Patapsco Middle Schools, as well as young adults from the county’s READY program, to help restore the college’s central stream
(Columbia, MD) – One of the major streams on Howard Community College’s (HCC) campus is preparing to undergo a significant restoration project, thanks to a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, expertise from local organizations and businesses, and assistance from a very special group of helpers: middle school students.
Between the project’s official kick-off ceremony on November 22, 2013, and its scheduled completion date in December 2014, over 400 students from Bonnie Branch, Clarksville, and Patapsco Middle Schools will be invited to campus to participate in the restoration of the college’s central stream. This unique educational partnership allows students to learn about the science of hydrology, native plants, and stormwater retention in their classrooms before taking field trips to campus to participate in hands-on activities with the stream restoration project. Guiding the middle school students during these trips will be young adults from the Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) program, which provides green jobs for young adults through the installation of rain gardens and conservation landscapes throughout Howard County. HCC students and staff will also assist in the restoration, as will experts from The Tech Group, Inc., a Millersville-based civil engineering firm, and Village Gardeners, a Libertytown-based landscape design company. Additional community groups and organizations will be invited to visit the project site throughout the year.
HCC was awarded funding for the project through Governor Martin O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge, which provides grants to local government and non-government organizations in an effort to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and create service-learning and environmental literacy activities for middle and high school students.
The yearlong restoration project will include a number of improvements to the central stream and surrounding areas, all designed to improve the stream’s water quality and reduce the quantity and velocity of water leaving the property. Modern conservation practices will be implemented to improve the stream’s ability to handle periodic storm events, and provide a natural habitat for wildlife that encourages educational opportunities for observation and measurement. Signage and other media will be installed during and after the restoration to explain to students and the community the benefits of the project.