Learning to Make a Difference by Combating Habitat Loss in Loudoun County
Over the last two months the Morven Park education team has been honored to work with a group of eighth grade students from Trailside Middle School to make an impact on our shared community through a service learning project. These 145 inspiring young leaders participated in our Good Citizenship Project – a unique project-based learning experience that brings students outside of their classrooms and into the community to identify, learn about, and address local issues.
The students were split into two groups, each one focused on a pressing yet often unseen issue in our region – hunger and habitat loss. Through the projects, students learned ways to find out about what’s going on in their communities and how they can do something to help. They learned to ask questions, challenge assumptions and take a stand on how we as a community can impact habitat loss and hunger.
In this post we look at the project that dealt with habitat loss (learn more about the hunger project here). The students rolled up their sleeves and headed out to the woods here at Morven Park to clean up the walking paths and remove nasty invasive plants. The students worked in teams to cover the several miles of trails on site. They were mentored by an incredible team of volunteers – from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Master Naturalists and local nature enthusiasts – who dug in the dirt with them and taught them how to identify and remove the invasive plants – while also sharing some great tips on spotting wildlife!
The students worked on the trails twice – in April and in June. They kept track of each plant they pulled and tallied up a serious haul: 1,469 Wineberry plants, 577 Garlic Mustard plants, 901 Japanese Honeysuckles, plus a handful of Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose, Mile-a-Minute, and Barberry. Check out this letter from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, a Morven Park partner organization, to learn more about the outcome of the project and how it helped improve the health of the Morven Park woodlands.
The teams wrapped up their projects by creating PSAs and articles to share their work and motivate others to do one thing – get involved! Listed below are links to their final products. Thanks to this impressive group of students for a great project!
To learn more about our civic impact projects and learning opportunities, visit our programs page.
Morven Park is a nonprofit that relies on donations from friends like you. All donations directly fund our work in historic preservation, our world-class equestrian center, youth sports, and our unique civics education programming. Your donation is an investment in Morven Park’s future, ensuring that generations to come will enjoy this vital public resource. Please donate today at www.MorvenPark.org.