||Valley Elementary School
Valley is excited to have been selected to participate in the NOAA B-WET grant program. A team of Valley teachers will begin the development Valley's Schoolyard Habitat throughout the 2007-2008 school year. The team will be lead by third grade teacher, Mary Cooley. Students will be involved in a variety of curriculum related activities to achieve long and short term project goals. Check back during the school year for more information on the progress of the school habitat.
Watch Our Habitat Grow
We are embarking on Phase I of this ambitious project. Phases II and III are already in the planning stages, with over 150 native trees set to be planted in the area surrounding our Wetland in the fall of 2008 as part of our school’s 40th anniversary (1968-2008)! We invite you to join us and be a part of our Schoolyard Habitat: Valley’s Wetland Environment!
Valley Elementary’s Schoolyard Habitat Team
April Wells, FCPS Schoolyard Habitat Specialist and Project Coordinator
Mary Cooley, Valley SYH Team Leader, Third Grade Teacher
Sheila Buscemi, Photographer & Technology, First Grade Teacher
Marci Gordon, Budget Coordinator/Treasurer, Kindergarten Teacher
Tom May, Maintenance, Fourth Grade Teacher
Tania Sabol, Community & Student Liaison, LLSP Teacher
Amy Stone, Parent Volunteer Coordinator, First Grade Teacher
Heather Montgomery, Potomac Conservancy
Terry Walsh, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Kay Schultz, Dept. of Program Development & Management, Frederick County Public Works
What is a Schoolyard Habitat?
Valley’s Schoolyard Habitat Project utilizes an existing wetland site on our school grounds. The plan features improvements to the existing site, including handicapped-accessible observation berms crossing over the wetland area, as well as native plants, shrubs and trees to attract butterflies, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. The Wetland Habitat would also include a classroom observation area with picnic tables and storage for student study kits, tools, and other supplies.
How Does the Project Benefit our School and Community?
Conserving and enhancing the natural environment on school sites supports the environmental goals proposed by the state of Maryland’s Educational bylaws (Code of Maryland Regulations 13A.04.17). By conserving and maintaining this natural wetland area, our school helps to provide a safe habitat for Maryland wildlife, while contributing to the overall well-being of the Chesapeake Bay.
(Source: Conserving and Enhancing the Natural Environment. 1999, Maryland State Department of Education)
Students use basic skills to solve real-life problems in their environment. Rich, interactive hands-on learning opportunities provided through the Wetland Habitat bring excitement, authenticity, and individual awareness of the earth around us. Students discover how they can contribute to the habitat’s preservation, and the natural beauty of our environment.
How Can Families Help?
- Students’ families and community organizations can help create and maintain our Schoolyard Habitat in many ways:
- By providing excess native plants from their own gardens.
- By helping pick up supplies and plants in April, 2008.
- By helping to supply tools such as shovels, trowels, gloves, boots, rakes, etc.
- By contributing snacks and drinks for children and adults on planting days (April 14-16, 2008).
- By helping classes with planting on planting days (April 14-16, 2008).
- By helping contact other parents to coordinate snacks and help with planting.
- By watering and maintaining the Wetland, especially during the summer months.
How Can Businesses Help?
- Area businesses can help with this community project in the following ways:
- With donations or discounts on native plants, shrubs, and trees.
- Donations or discounts on supplies such as shovels, trowels, gloves, boots, rakes, etc.
- By donating time to help with planting in early April.
- By providing snacks and drinks on planting days (April 14-16, 2008).
- By providing or discounting materials for our pathways and classroom observation area (stones, crushed stone, pavers, decking, etc.).
- By donating or discounting weather-resistant tables, picnic tables, or a storage shed for our classroom observation area.
- By monetary donations (payable to Valley Elementary School—specify “Schoolyard Habitat Fund” in the memo).
Valley Elementary School’s Wetland Environment
Protecting and Enhancing our Natural Environment
Schoolyard Habitat Timeline
For more information on our Schoolyard Habitat program, contact Mary Cooley or click here to send an email.
Below are some photographs taken of our Schoolyard Habitat. We are excited to share these with you!