Seven students from high schools across Accomack County have been selected to participate in Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s brand new Sea S.T.A.R. Stewards Program this summer. This internship is a coastal education and leadership internship program for local 9th and 10th graders. Students will spend time this summer working in environmental education programs at CBFS while researching and learning about our local watershed.
This year’s Sea S.T.A.R Stewards include Trenton Clark, Noah Jester, Kristen McCollum from Chincoteague High School, Lyssa Annis, Kara Beth Pruitt, and Jayde Thompson from Arcadia High School, and Brittane’ Patterson from Zion Academy of America. The students attended an orientation at CBFS this past weekend with their parents. Lyssa Annis notes that she is especially excited about being, “around and in the water and mud… I’ve always loved those things!” The students bring with them local perspectives of the Shore, including Noah who realizes, “I have lived on the Chincoteague Bay all of my life so this internship is a great opportunity to learn more about all of the things I have taken for granted every day.”
The Sea S.T.A.R. Stewards Program is funded by a generous grant from Toyota TogetherGreen and Audubon. In 2014 Parker McMullen-Bushman, CBFS's Adult & Family Program Coordinator was awarded a $10,000 award through the Audubon & Toyota Conservation Fellowship to fund the Coastal Watershed Alliance (CWA). CWA is a three-tiered program that will improve watershed health through education, teacher professional development and conservation job training for local students.
Watershed education embodies the Toyota TogetherGreen goals of improving water supplies and quality for the protection of biodiversity. The Eastern Shore contains 70 percent of the Virginia’s tidal wetlands. The watershed is vital habitat to threatened species, including Delmarva fox squirrel, diamondback terrapins, and piping plovers, as well as a source of natural resources essential to watermen, farmers, and local businesses. During this internship students will become more knowledgeable about their role in the watershed, and will participate in meaningful work to preserve it. For more information about the Sea S.T.A.R. Stewards Program or to get involved with Chincoteague Bay Field Station, visit the Coastal Watershed Alliance page.
On Friday, April 24th, 20 children and 7 adults from Accomack County met at the Foodbank of the Eastern Shore to learn about and plant native species in the Foodbank’s garden. Families discussed the symbiotic relationship between birds and native plant species and learned about the work that the Foodbank does for the community. They planted five beds of natives including milkweed and rosemallow, and students were given their own seeds and growing guides to take home. This event is one of many held by Chincoteague Bay Field Station’s Shore People Advancing Readiness for Knowledge (SPARK) program. SPARK is a family-based educational program that emphasizes inter-generational and place-based learning techniques. SPARK promotes that idea that learning is fun and that the environment serves as a starting block for training families in literacy and math skills. This spring the Field Station was awarded a Celebrate Urban Birds mini grant from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which funds events that allow students and families to become investigators of their local environments and to collect high-quality data about how different environments will influence the location of birds in urban areas.
Special thanks to Alexis Votteler, Community Garden Coordinator, for introducing us to the Foodbank's garden!
This weekend families from Accomack County visited "Sparky's Farm" in Parksley to learn about farm animals, particularly the birds that we find on the farm. Children compared the egg sizes of geese, ducks, and chickens, went on a nature walk, and tried their hand at milking a cow!
SPARK is a family-based educational program that emphasizes inter-generational and place-based learning techniques. SPARK promotes that idea that learning is fun and that the environment serves as a starting block for training families in literacy and math skills.
This event was sponsored in part by the Celebrate Urban Birds mini grant from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
CBFS held its third annual Nature Lovers Dinner & Trivia this Valentines Day. Sixteen couples participated in this friendly competition where they were quizzed on their knowledge of birds and the bees - sometimes quite literally! Congratulations to our trivia winners - Sarah & Mike Casseday.
Everything you need to know about CBFS's educational programs, visiting Chincoteague Island, and more!