Annual Earth Day celebration brings together school and BRCA for fun and learning

Planting native flowers, making bottle rockets out of recycled materials, and honing your orientation skills are just a few of the Earth Day activities accomplished by students at Brandywine Springs School.

Done in partnership with the Pennsylvania based nonprofit Brandywine Red Clay Valley Alliance, BRCA executive director Jim Jordan said that while education is the focus of the day, it’s also about getting kids outdoors to appreciate nature.

“We want to pull them away from the video games and devices, and get out of the classroom for the day,” Jordan said.

Older students learned about orienteering and the ins and outs of bottle rocket engineering, while students in the lower grades planted seeds, found out just what a watershed is (hint: they’re basically everywhere and overlap), and discovered how the ground acts as a water filtration system.

Plenty of adult volunteers turned up for some of the heavier lifting, including a campus-wide trash pickup (and scavenger hunt), tree plantings, and flower bed mulching.

Among those volunteers was William “Buzzy” Cooke, former Springs principal and the namesake of William F. Cooke Elementary School in Hockessin.

“Buzzy, who is a member of our board of directors, never misses an Earth Day,” Jordan said.

“I love coming back to my old stomping grounds and pitching in,” Cooke said. “Least I could do.”

Traditionally held each year on April 22, Earth Day started in 1970 in an effort to demonstrate support for environmental protection.