June 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Community Based Education, Hilltown Families, Nature Based Education, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Botany, Citizen Science, Ecology, environmental science, Fauna, Flora, habitat, invasive species, Plant Studies, Service Based Learning
Invasive Species an Unlikely Catalyst for Community-Based Learning
We’re unfortunately quite familiar with invasive species here in western Massachusetts. From the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer gnawing its way through every tasty tree in sight to Japanese knotweed crowding nearly every riverbank for miles around, invasive species have made our place their home… but how is it that this happens?
Though quite unwanted and dangerous to our fragile ecosystems, the numerous invasive species that have become part of the local landscape can serve as a community-based resource for learning. Through studies of local habitat, opportunities for citizen science, and targeted community service efforts, local families can use invasive species as a catalyst for building knowledge and cohesiveness both at home and in the community at large.
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January 2, 2013 at 6:00 am (Resources, Suggested Activity)
Tags: central Massachusetts, civic engagement, clean water act, Community Based Education, Curriculum, Environment, environmental activisim, environmental science, History, Marion Stoddart, Massachusetts Clean Water Act, merrimack river, river conservation, study guide, The Work of 1000
The Work of 1,000
Screening at Wistariahurst Museum
Thursday, Jan 10th, 6:30pm
“This film provides unique learning opportunities and will enhance interest in the environmental science and engineering fields and leadership development for all.” — Larisa Schelkin, Executive Director of the DOME Foundation
Rivers are a vital part of our ecosystems, and have played a crucial role in much of industrial history. Rivers have provided a means of transportation and a way of moving goods, have powered mills and helped to provide hydroelectric power, and their watersheds help to nourish farmland that provides nutritive food to our community. Historically, however, our rivers have not been treated with as much respect and reverence as they should have been. They have been re-routed and polluted, and we have built to the very edges of their banks with bridges, factories, and parking lots.
The Trustees of Reservations is providing a valuable way for families and students to learn about the history of the Nashua River, a beautiful, healthy, once-polluted tributary of the Merrimack River. The Trustees will screen, The Work of 1000, at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke at 6:30pm on January 10th, 2013.
The Nashua River was once filled with dyes and other byproducts from the manufacture of fabrics, but today – thanks to enormous community efforts – the river is clean and there are new laws and regulations that require proper treatment of rivers. Environmental advocate, housewife and mother, Marion Stoddart, along with other dedicated Massachusetts citizens, fought to help restore the river during the mid-1960’s, and helped to create the Massachusetts Clean Water Act.
The 30-minute screening of The Work of 1000 can supplement students’ studies of conservation, environmental science, New England history, and more. Pair the screening with a reading of Lynne Cherry’s book, A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History, which tells a story of the natural and human-impacted history of the Nashua River and it’s restoration and renewal. Though it is a picture book, the topic is sophisticated enough that even slightly older students can appreciate and learn from it.
For educational guides to accompany this screening, download this Study Guide (pdf, 2 pages) and Teacher Curriculum Guide Grades 7-9 (pdf, 6 pages). More learning resources, along with information on how to bring a screening of The Work of 1000 to your community, can be found at www.workof1000.org.
Further information on the screening at the Wistariahurst Museum can be found at wistariahurst.org. The screening is free and open to the public. The Wistariahurst Museum is located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke, MA.