Stroud Center Partner Opens New Water Quality Education Center

600 400 Stroud Water Research Center

With the support of Stroud™ Water Research Center’s Education Department and Robin L. Vannote Watershed Restoration Program, 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.

Photos courtesy of West Chester Area School District.

Members of the Stroud Center’s education and restoration teams and district employees prepare a tree-planting site.
The watershed restoration team gives a tree planting demonstration to middle-school students and teachers.
A watershed restoration team member helps identify invasive species to remove and native plants to preserve.
A group of educators at the dedication of the West Chester Area School District Water Quality Education Center.
SMS Principal Mary Kay Pucalla celebrates with project partners as she officially opens the Water Quality Education Center.

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.”

Learn more about the grand opening of WCASD’s Water Quality Education Center.