Biophilia is the banner of all our environmental education programs. Our students and volunteers connect with nature as the learn about the Anacostia River’s past and present while they work to shape its future. Students realize the value of this resource, build their sense of ownership as they learn how the river and its ecosystem is rebounding after decades of abuse. Once we pulled the last shopping cart out the river and ended the combined sewer overflows we assumed our work would be done. We did all that only to have the new human caused threat of climate change bearing down. With our grade school students now feeling overwhelmed with worry about a climate impacted future we are focused on engaging them in solutions.
The real life example of what a previous generation of EartH Conservation Corps youth accomplished on America's most polluted river has a transformative power. Our youth leaders are able to show that the same can do mind set must be bought the climate fight and that they can have a meaningful impact. Students engage in restoration of their back yard natural systems empowered with the understanding of the strengthening these natural systems form a crucial bulwark against the coming climate stresses. A foundational goal of our student engagement, Bilphilia, is too inspire all students to become life long conservationists and open a door that may lead some to a career in the natural sciences. It's pretty easy and fun to connect with their ecosystem by recruiting them as citizen scientists.
We deploy some pretty fun and simple ways for students to engage in in the hands on work of restoring biodiversity. Soon butterfly gardens are springing up in schoolyards because its is an essential fronts were the students can not a victory every day.
Earth Conservation Corps is proud to be the State Representatives to The National Wildlife Federation and we are so pleased to be able to bring the globally recognized National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program to District Students which gives them chance to create positive change in their own schools.By conducting environmental audits of their buildings, students identify areas to improve and work together to make their school more environmentally sustainable and their schools yards wildlife habitats. They aisle join us on the river to participate in our resTortation work. We
Raptor Rescue & Research:
Earth Conservation Corps’ environmental education programs provide unique opportunities for students to connect with their local eco-system. Getting close to a living owl or hawk is a memorable experience. Students learn about how birds of prey rely on a clean river for their survival. Today learning is not only classroom and hands-on, it can also be virtual. Anacostia Raptor Watch is our live web camera stream of active raptor nests. One camera is on the nest of bald eagles and the other is on an osprey nest located on the Anacostia River. Viewers from around the globe can observe these amazing birds of prey 24/7 through our web cameras. Watch these amazing creatures care for their eggs and witness the miracle of new life as baby eaglets and osprey chicks hatch.
Students participate in water quality monitoring of the Anacostia River. Students can learn about turbidity, oxygen and PH levels of our water by conducting simple testing. ECC has been very fortunate to have volunteers from the Office of Water at the US EPA as our partners in this program.
River Life Expeditions:
Floating on the Anacostia River gives students a meaningful encounter with the river. The lower Anacostia is very much an urban river. The landscape includes buildings, stadiums, busy bridges, hustle and bustle. Up river everything changes. It gets quiet, the city disappears. You start to see an amazing hidden Anacostia that you can only witness on the water. Osprey, wood ducks, turtles, and kingfishers are your only noise.
Friday Night Ichthyology:
During the summer months families come down to The Monique Johnson Anacostia River Center to be an Ichthyologist for the evening as our youth leaders teach a free fishing clinic with a citizen science outcome. Squeals of delight can be heard from the street as kids reel in their first wriggling catfish and families get to experience the outdoors together. Before release each fish caught will be carefully measured, weighed and a small tissue sample taken. All will be delivered to the DC Fisheries department who are assessing the health of Anacostia river fish which have the highest inceidn of cancer ever recovered in an Amercian River.
Summer also means – summer camp! DC Eco-Camp is ECC’s very own environmental education summer camp. Kids ages 10-13 can become citizen scientists for a week and conduct water quality testing, they can get knee deep in a wetland to plant native species, participate in a field study of the river on one of our boats and observe our birds of prey up close through Raptor Rescue & Research.
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'If I could live anytime it would be now. We have a chance to restore the Earth that will never come again" Dr. Sylvia Earle