Powhatan School Partners with PEC to Host Conservation Day

The Piedmont Environmental Council and Powhatan School hosted its annual Conservation Day for all fourth graders in Clarke County on Friday, October 14th. This year the theme for the event was the “Riches of Nature”.

More than 200 fourth graders from D.G. Cooley, Boyce Elementary, and Powhatan School attended the program. Students spent the morning visiting various environmental stations that included the Virginia State Arboretum, the Friends of the Shenandoah River, Mountain Trails and “green” architect Jim Burton of Carter+Burton.

Mr. DeHaven, VP of GearClean Inc. - Photo courtesy Powhatan School

“As the Downstream Project presentation put it today, ’We all live downstream,’” said Mr. Green, a 4thGrade Powhatan teacher. “If there was just one thing that we take away from today’s program, I think it revolves around this simple message. In every workshop we had today, the presenters explained that there are consequences for every environmental choice we make. That is a powerful message.”

Each class from all three schools went from station to station, learning about environmental issues and conservation.

“9 and 10 year olds are naturally very caring about the environment, and they are also just old enough to learn enough information to take that knowledge and combine it with their caring to become effective environmental stewards,” said Green. “It is really a great day to discover so many areas where the environment is involved in our daily lives.”

Chad DeHaven, vice president of GearClean Inc., was the keynote speaker for the event and he focused his presentation on the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and explained GearClean’s efforts at 24 cleaning stations across 200 miles of coastline. DeHaven explained how their vessel decontamination stations used dry ice to remove oil from sailing vessels involved in the cleanup of the disaster.

Conservation Day is part of Powhatan’s Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL) that promotes conservation and the environment by bringing nature indoors and the classroom outdoors.

Powhatan School would like to thank all of the participating groups for sharing their insight and expertise:

  •          Town of Berryville
  •          Blandy Farm
  •          Carter+Burton Architecture & Design
  •          Downstream Project
  •          Friends of the Shenandoah River
  •          GearClean
  •          Mountain Trails
  •          Native Plant Society
  •          Piedmont Environmental Council
  •          Shenandoah Naturalists
  •          Gerald Crowell and the Va. Department of Forestry
“All of the fourth graders I talked to today expressed their excitement about what and howthey had learned,” said Mr. Legge, an Upper School science teacher who coordinated the event. “Some presentations were active, some were contemplative, but kids were engaged at each station, learning about clean water, predatory birds, the value of trees, and more. Learning from one or a few teachers works, but education is enhanced when many experts are involved and when kids get out of their seats. Another great part of the day was the interaction between schools; it’s great to see kids greeting old friends and making new ones.”