Archive for the ‘children in nature’ Category

Signs of an invasion were everywhere on a recent visit to the floating wetland islands at the Education Village. Plants had been devoured from the floating wetlands like they were buffet tables at SouperSalad. The students’ plantings along the shores of the stormwater pond were also missing. All around were footprints and scat from the prime suspect: nutria.

nutria composite


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smFloating Wetlands-HBrown (40)
Students and volunteers launch a floating wetland island into the stormwater detention basin. Photo: Helle Brown

Our first installation of floating wetland islands went into the campus stormwater detention pond at Clear Creek Independent School District’s Education Village in League City. TCWP and the school community launched three islands on November 10

When 72 volunteers, 2 camera crews, and the school superintendent show up to help us undertake something new, it sure is wonderful when it is accomplished with hardly a hitch!


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We are moving closer to installing floating wetland islands in what may be the first such project at a school in Texas, and one of the first public installations anywhere in the state. The floating wetlands will be in the storm water detention basin (aka “the pond”) of the Education Village campus in League City TX, part of the Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD).

islands composite

Left: Floating wetland islands in Canada. Source: Biohavens International. Right: A pilot project in Baltimore Harbor. Source: Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

What is a floating wetland? It’s a small buoyant man-made island that grows wetland plants. CCISD’s islands will be made of a dense mesh of recycled plastic fibers produced by Martin Ecosystems. These floating wetlands have plant, soil and root interactions similar to a natural wetland and provide surfaces for colonies of beneficial water-cleaning microorganisms. (more…)

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Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly.

Author Robert Brault writes, “Why try to explain miracles to your kids, when you can just have them plant a garden?” Young children have an innate curiosity and are masters at observation. Encouraged at an early age, they can carry these observation skills throughout their school years and beyond. Attitudes about the environment are formed early, so we should create spaces right outside their doorstep where children can learn to appreciate the wonders found in nature.

Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv, struck a chord that still reverberates, making us realize that our future environmental stewards spend too much time in front of video screens during their formative years. This is the time when making connections with nature can ignite a passion that lasts a lifetime. Opening the door to nature can be as easy as walking across the threshold, whether to a large backyard, a small corner of the front yard, or even a balcony. (more…)

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