Programs » Education
This summer, NMRWA will be participating in a career development program for Pittsburgh public high school students, focusing on water related careers, called Pittsburgh Pipeline. For more information, or if you know a student who may be interested, please visit their website here.
Wilkinsburg High School Vacant Lot Transformation
A project we are exceptionally excited about is the transformation of the vacant lot next to Wilkinsburg High School. This project engages the students in Wilkinsburg High School's Key Club in creating a unique green space next to the high school. It will include a rain garden, tree plantings, outdoor classroom and seating area, and green infrastructure that will also address the stormwater runoff from an adjacent parking lot. Lisa Brown and Sara Madden have directed the students throughout this project by conducting a series of design charrettes and educational presentations, and in planning for construction days. This project has been made possible through a grant from the Heinz Endowments Youth Philanthropy program.
“There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature.” Aristotle
Through the NMRWA education program, watershed residents of all ages learn about their local environment while building their understanding of ecological principles. We create an environmentally aware watershed constituency by fostering a connection between the aquatic ecosystem restoration area and the classroom.
Utilizing the Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration as an outdoor classroom, NMRWA creates unique environmental education opportunities stressing active involvement, critical and creative thinking, outdoor experiences, and essential watershed and ecological principles. Furthermore, we use the entire watershed for projects emphasizing non-point source pollution, stormwater runoff, vacant lot restoration, invasive plants, and the human impact on the environment. We work with K-12 schools, community & volunteer groups, universities, and churches.
Our talented staff design a variety of programs specialized to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology to aid classroom teachers and outdoor educators in meeting their curriculum requirements and advancing environmental literacy. NMRWA has...
· Native plant project with the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. In-school presentations and two field trips to the restoration area that included a native seed collection and a native planting.
· In-school workshop with a follow-up field trip with Wilkinsburg Middle School focused on non-point source pollution and invasive vs. native plants.
· Watershed education workshops followed by a design contest for students of the Western Pennslyvania School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh Urban Christian School, and the Word of God catholic School.
· Youth Training Days with Earth Force (four days, four schools). Consisted of in-class educational presentations and daylong field trips, invasive plant removal workshops, and environmental professional guest speakers. The participating schools were City High, Sacred Heart, Stow-Rox, and St. James School in Wilkinsburg.
· Three year partnership in Phipps Conservatory’s Fairchild Challenge and Summer High School Intern Programs.
· In-class presentations and field trips to the restoration area with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America and the Boys and Girls clubs of Wilkinsburg.
· Three year partnership in RiverQuest’s Bayer Climate Fellows Sustainability Camp, Riverquest/ASSET teacher training program and Creek Connections Student Research Symposium.
· In-school presentations to Word of God Catholic School, Kentucky Avenue School, Sacred Heart School, City High, Stow-Rox, Central Catholic, Wilkinsburg Middle & High Schools, The Pittsburgh New School, CAPA High School, Rodef Shalom, and St. James School covering non-point source pollution, invasive vs. native plants, and watershed education.
· Stream clean-ups with fraternity and sorority members from University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University.
· Volunteer work days consisting of invasive plant removal, tree plantings, willow wall constructing, rogue trail closures, litter clean up, and many other activities with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple Sinai.
· Long term volunteer/education opportunites through the Urban Ecostewards program. The UES program provides free educational workshop opportunites. For more info go here.
· In-school presentation focused on watersheds and non-point source pollution followed by a street clean-up event with Pittsburgh Urban Christian School.
· Educational hikes that cover topics involving Winter Tree Identification, Mushroom Hunting, Bird Watching, and the Geology of Western Pennsylvania.
If you would like a more detailed description of any of our education programs, or if you have a group that could benefit from an in-class workshop or a field trip to the outdoor laboratory of the Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, contact Luke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.371.8779 ext. 120 for more information.