by Jamie Oltman, The Groundwater Foundation
I recently spent some time with a group of middle school students in their garden club planting bulbs in their school’s courtyard. These students were excited about what they were doing, deciding where to plant and learning how to correctly plant the bulbs. The students were involved in measuring the precise distant between and depth of the holes, digging the holes and making sure they were covered and watered before the end of the hour the club meets. Each student was enthused about being there and participating in this project, especially that they were doing something for their school.
As we dug holes we found insects and worms. We also found various different layers in the shallow holes that were dug, soil on the top to clay as you dug a bit deeper. When someone found something interesting the rest of the group would run over to see. The students were taking it all in, they were learning yet didn’t even realize that they were. It was inspiring to spend time with these students as they learned and worked together.
I will be visiting their school in the future to help jump start their new environmental leadership club, LEAP. LEAP stands for Learn, Educate, Act and Protect. Students who participate will learn more about water and the environment through hands-on activities. Students will then take what they have learned and educate others in their school or community. Then they will act and protect, working together to complete an environmental stewardship project. Just the short time I spent with these students I am looking forward to working with them through LEAP. Stay tuned to see what happens as they LEAP into groundwater.
To learn more about LEAP visit http://www.groundwater.org/pe/LEAP.html.