With the support of Stroud™ Water Research Center’s education department, West Chester Area School District in Pennsylvania has unveiled its Water Quality Education Center! The three outdoor learning classrooms and interpretative signage located at Stetson Middle School (SMS) will engage students, teachers, and the greater community for generations to come.
As part of the project, the school district restored three acres of forest with guidance from the Stroud Center. After invasive species were cleared, sixth-grade students planted 272 native trees and installed tree tubes and stakes to protect the new plantings from deer. Students from Henderson High School’s Ecology Club and Peirce Middle School have maintained the plantings and kept invasive species at bay.
In a unique twist on the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, SMS Principal Mary Kay Pucalla used a pair of loppers to cut a braid made of three invasive species.
“The classrooms are for the teachers, but most importantly, the students,” shares Stroud Center Director of Education Steve Kerlin, Ph.D. “This is relevant to the students because this is their watershed. They will learn how to make informed decisions because their actions impact the future.”