Watershed Protection Grant Past Projects
Pathway Improvement and Rip Rap Installation - Boothbay Region Elementary School
Sandy Wheeler and her seventh grade class spread mulch over a pathway and placed rock rip rap in a ditch, both of which led directly to Knickerbocker Lake in Boothbay. The path and ditch showed considerable signs of erosion before the project was undertaken. Part of the ditch was used as an ATV trail which contributed to the soil erosion that was occurring. With the rip rap in place, ATV riders should stay on the designated trails and avoid contributing to further degradation of the ditch's structure. The foot path leading to Knickerbocker was a canoe carry-in site that had been used for years. Over time, stormwater had eroded the path and was depositing soil directly into Knickerbocker, which was carrying with it harmful pollutants and nutrients. The project was made possible, in part, by the Boothbay Region Water District and the Town of Boothbay Harbor Public Works Department . Without their help, there would not have been any mulch to spread or rip rap to place.
Since last fall, Denise Blanchette and Edward Hanlon of the DEP had visited the class to present several lessons to the students. The students learned how to identify potentially invasive plants and discovered how they could keep Knickerbocker free from these aquatic aliens. The class also preformed a lesson involving macro invertebrates from a nearby vernal pool, and learned how they can help alert biologists to changes in water quality.
The class created a presentation for the incoming 6 th graders and shared it with the 52 students who will be covering a watershed unit in the classroom next year. The Boothbay Register also interviewed students for a piece on the project that appeared in the local newspaper. To educate the public further, the students also erected a sign at the site of the project to inform visitors of the work they had done
Mud Pond Erosion Control Project- Leonard Middle School,
Students at Leonard Middle School were led in their project by their sixth grade science teacher, Ms. Lacombe-Burby, and their gifted and talented teacher, Mr. Doty. Rebecca Martin, an environmental educator from the DEP, and Elizabeth Wright, the watershed coordinator for the Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District, visited the students on several occasions to present lessons about polluted stormwater runoff, erosion, watersheds, and buffers. After these presentations and additional research Ms. Lacombe-Burby, Mr. Doty, and their students decided on a project to protect the water quality of Mud Pond in Old Town .
The site selected for the project was in Sewall Park , an area where many local people go to enjoy picnicking and swimming. The site was chosen because it is accessible to the public and some of the students visit the park regularly. With the help of parent volunteers, their teachers, and Old Town Public Works the students constructed and installed two rubber razors across a dirt road which was eroding directly into Mud Pond. The road provides boaters with access to Mud Pond and is utilized by picnickers for parking. The students also dug and planted two rain gardens to collect the water that was being diverted from the road and prevent the runoff from reaching Mud Pond. The students applied erosion control mix to the berms constructed around the rain gardens to ensure the berm material is not washed into Mud Pond.
The students and their helpers are very proud of the results of their work and they erected a sign on the site to inform visitors of the project and purpose of the work. Old Town Public Works has agreed to maintain the rubber razors and rain gardens and ensure they remain in working order.
Trail Reconstruction and Buffer Planting- Troy Howard Middle School
Inspired to incorporate their garden program, watershed and forest into a manageable outdoor teaching lab that can be accessed by all students and community members, the students at the Troy Howard Middle School, researched and designed several possible watershed restoration projects to improve the water quality along the shores of the Little River feeder stream and pond in Belfast, ME. With help from Kid's Consortium, Bank of America, CMP, and Maine DEP the group of 350 students planted vegetation, spread erosion control mix and designed a buffered pathway along the school pond and trail to the local YMCA.
After extensive research into watersheds, ecology, processes, sources of pollution and its effects, as well as methods to control erosion, the students designed and planned several ways to reduce runoff and improve their schools watershed. The students created a more defined and gently sloped access area to the water- to limit foot traffic and erosion. They also modified gardening practices to prevent any possible run off situations. Erosion control mix was added to areas in which the sod had become highly compacted and impervious. The students planted 300 conifers and 100's of butterfly and bird friendly plants along the shoreline to increase filtering of runoff. Lastly, they designate a “no mow” area.
The culmination of the student's efforts was presented to the community at an Educational Fair in June of 2007. The students' work researching and planning during the school year and a day of physical labor have made a real difference in the quality of their local pond for all to enjoy!