Ecoliteracy is a term to denote the understanding of the principles that govern the health of the Earth and its ecosystem

Ecoliteracy Programs

Ecoliteracy refers to the understanding of the principles that govern the health of the Earth and its ecosystem. To be ecoliterate means that you use this understanding to promote sustainable human and more-than-human communities. Blue Water Baltimore offers educational programs for all age ranges, preschool to senior. They are great accompaniments to environmental school lessons, MWEE (Meaningful Watershed Education Experience) projects, university courses, and corporate or congregational events. Below are the ecoliteracy programs we are ready to offer your organization.

Baltimore City Water Health Update (1 hr)

The mission of Blue Water Baltimore is to protect and restore Baltimore’s waterways through enforcement, fieldwork, and citizen action. Our ultimate goal is to make our waterways safe for recreation (including fishing and swimming), to improve public health, and to improve the health of our ecosystem. This presentation shares information about the current health of our urban watershed and actions you can take to improve the health of our waterways. This PowerPoint-based session is ideal for people aged 16 and up.

Watershed Ecology in the Anthropocene (1 hr)

This presentation covers the basics of watershed ecology and its connection to the climate crisis. During this session we will examine the natural history of water and how human activities have impacted the Earth’s natural water cycle. We will also discuss solutions that individuals and communities can implement to mitigate the challenges we face. This PowerPoint-based session is ideal for people aged 16 and up.

H2O Mystery Lab: Exploring Water through Science & Imagination (1 hr)

Wonder and observation are the sparks that ignite scientific and artistic exploration. Did you know that water is the only known substance that can defy gravity? Or how about the fact that it’s the only known substance that exists naturally on Earth in three states, as a solid, liquid, and gas? This session explores the mysterious properties of water through storytelling and experimentation. Designed specifically for inquisitive preschool to 3rd grade minds, this session will have your students thinking about the importance of water in ways they (and perhaps you) have never considered.

Pollinator Gardening: Designing & Building Sustainable Insect Habitats  (1 hr)

Planting native plants strategically is an easy and inexpensive way you can help restore habitat for struggling pollinators. This PowerPoint presentation walks you through the how and why of pollinator gardening and explains its connection to watershed health. The session covers information on site and plant selection, and how a pollinator garden is designed, built, and maintained. You will also be introduced to the pollinator plant options available at Blue Water Baltimore’s Herring Run Nursery. This session is ideal for garden clubs and neighborhood associations — a special version is also available for educators interested in integrating pollinator gardening into school curriculum. This session is ideal for 5th grade students and up. Attendees will receive a discount coupon for a native plant at Herring Run Nursery.

Schoolyard Rainwater Mapping (1 hr)

This interactive session will give your students a new way to look at the world. Alongside experienced Blue Water Baltimore staff, students will examine the property’s typography and map out how rainwater moves over the landscape. They will also visualize the best site-specific ways to harvest the rainwater through learning about and exploring innovative green technology, such as rain gardens, bioswales, and rain barrels. The student-generated maps and plans can then be used towards securing future Green School certification and grant funding opportunities.

Wilderness Walk: Reconnecting with the Natural World (2 hrs)

Our quest for environmental justice is a noble and necessary pursuit; however, without regular sensory experiences grounded in the natural world we can easily lose sight of what we are fighting for. Engaging in frequent direct experiences in nature puts our environmental work into perspective. During this session we will explore the more-than-human world through our senses, learn about urban watershed ecology, and have the opportunity to reflect upon and share the insights that nature-based experiences yield. The walks take place in Druid Hill Park or can be replicated in a forested space near you. This session is ideal for people aged 9 years old and up.

School-based Storm Drain Art Workshop (3 hrs)

Blue Water Baltimore offers storm drain art workshops in our Remington classroom that are geared towards community leaders and educators interested in running their own event. In addition, we can deliver the program to schools directly and teach students about the connection between our streets and streams and lead a storm drain art event on campus. This workshop is ideal for grades 4 and up. The workshop is student-focused and includes an introduction to the urban water cycle and all the materials needed to adorn up to four storm drains on the school’s grounds.

Jones Falls Watershed Tour (4 hrs) 

The is a perfect field trip to give your organization or class a firm, place-based understanding of the water cycle. We start at the headwaters of the Jones Falls and make various stops to discuss the history of water use in Baltimore City. We will discuss the modern challenges Baltimore City faces and the solutions Blue Water Baltimore and other organizations are implementing to make our waterways healthy. This trip is a great way to prime your organization to take part in our various service learning and volunteering opportunities. The watershed tour takes approximately three hours and typically ends with a picnic lunch at the Inner Harbor. The organization provides transportation and food. This is an excellent trip for student groups, 11 years old and up.

Do you have a water-based educational need that you do not see listed? Programs can be tailored or developed for your organization’s specific needs and can include service learning and volunteer opportunities. Blue Water Baltimore’s ecoliteracy programs are offered on a sliding scale fee of $65 – $125 per hour. Your support allows us to deliver programs to under-served communities throughout Baltimore City. Additionally, public elementary/middle/high schools located within a 10 mile radius of our Remington office can be discounted to $50 per hour (or less depending on need). Some of our programs may be offered in connection with existing grant funding, and we are happy assist with grant applications that incorporate our programs.

To inquire further, contact our Education and Outreach Manager, Michel Anderson, at manderson@bluewaterbaltimore.org.