Last week, the kids at Brandywine Springs Elementary were speaking for the trees.
On Thursday, the students spent the entire day working on a variety of different environmentally themes projects in preparation for Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22.
Sponsored by the Brandywine and Red Clay Valley Association, the day’s activities are actually part of the curriculum at Brandywine Springs.
In fact, the RCVA even has a full-time presence at the school with their official liaison, environmental resource instructor Kathy Yacucci.
“We do a lot of stuff seasonally, from dirt to molecules and matter, to insects,” Yacucci. “Most of the time it’s easy to engage them, they’re eager to learn. Anytime they get to go outside, they love it.”
Jim Jordan, executive director for the RCVA, said that the program is done every year and includes projects as varied as composting and orienteering to seed and tree plantings.
One of the more interesting projects, Jordan said, is done with the seventh grade in conjunction with Peninsula Composting in Wilmington using cafeteria food waste.
“Kids separate their organic waste from other waste, and then the company comes in and shows them what their pizza crusts and tuna sandwiches looked like three weeks ago and what they look like now,” Jordan said. “It’s a unique experience.”
Jordan said compost produced from the school’s leftover cafeteria food was actually used during the tree planting on school grounds – a fascinating lesson for the first graders, he added, who then get to see the cycle from start to finish.
Jordan said that the programs are assigned to the grade levels based on the lessons and Tree planting, mulching, litter pickup, watershed knowledge, and a butterfly migration garden.
For more information on the RCVA, visit brandywinewatershed.org.