Students do their part to clean Chesapeake Bay watershed

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Seventh-grade students got down and dirty, even wet, as they cleaned Paddy's Run to make the stream flow more smoothly. Pictured from left: Brianne Miller, Markayla Burgan, Megan Berger and Tyler Baer.

Paddy's Run, across Leitersburg Street from Tayamentasachta, received some tender loving care from Greencastle-Antrim Middle School students on April 29. Kerri Barnes, director of environmental studies, led seventh grade classes through a "Chesapeake Champions Project".

"We are in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed," she told the students. "We live in the most crowded watershed in the world. We want the water leaving here to be clean."

The students donned waterproof overalls and waders to enter the shallow stream. Some were anxious to get in the water. Others were not.

"Do we have to go in there?" asked on apprehensive girl.

"No," replied teacher Stacie Shaner. "We have other jobs too."

Those who were bold grabbed shovels and hoes, to move algae, logs, branches, leaves and debris to the sides of the stream. They were excited to find a turtle. The muck carried a foul odor. Barnes explained that some of it was due to a buildup of stale bread and bagels which visitors used to feed the ducks in the pond on the other side of the road. That was why the Tayamentasachta Advisory Committee provided corn as a preferred option. Decaying organic matter also contributed to the smell. The larger pieces blocked the flow of water, too.

The students who chose to stay ashore worked on the riparian zone along the run. Teacher Ashley Martin sent them out armed with tools to trim overhanging shrubs so hikers wouldn't get hit in the face. The project called for picking up trash and pulling invasive plant species. They worked in the rain, but the planting of trees was postponed to a dry day.

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot