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Edgewood Middle School students advocate for Rams Creek

Before this year, Rams Creek was a little-known, nameless stream near Edgewood Middle School.  Now, thanks to the work of Edgewood Middle School’s seventh grade students, it is the focus of an environmental action project.  In addition to officially naming “Rams Creek” through the United States Geological Survey, students in Ms. Kristie Smith’s science class have been surveying the creek, learning about the impacts of water quality, and generating action project ideas.

In April, the students in both Ms. Smith’s and Ms. Carolyn Swift’s science classes pulled together for Eco-fy Edgewood, a project to rejuvenate the middle school’s backyard.  With help from Harford Glen Environmental Center and Anita C Leight Estuary Center, and support from the school’s science department, seventh graders joined together to plant 400 plugs of native flowers and grasses in the school’s Low Mow Zone, mulch more than 40 trees lining the back sidewalk, replace four dead trees, and do an extensive trash pick-up. 

“The project was a huge success and helped me realize that we actually have the power to make our school and the Earth better,” said Angela Bush.

From sampling macroinvertebrates, assessing the stream corridor, and determining various water quality factors like pH and turbidity, it was determined that the school’s stream was ‘fair to poor,’ with much room for improvement. 

“Anything that goes into our small creek is going to end up in the Bush River, and eventually impact the Bay,” said Tony Hawkins, while rehearsing what would be presented to state officials in Annapolis. 

Jan Ayala, Joseevia Weeks, Roselyn Ramirez, Tony Hawkins, Angela Bush, and Brianna Ford were selected for their excellence and dedication to environmental learning and stewardship to present Edgewood Middle School’s findings and action project while representing Harford County at the Maryland Statewide Watershed Summit on May 10. 

“We discovered that our creek wasn’t really that healthy, because only pollution tolerant macroinvertebrates could survive.  We think it may be the turbidity,” explained Brianna Ford to an elected official examining their work. 

When asked how they addressed these problems, Jan Ayala chimed in, “we advocated for the expansion of our Low Mow Zone to our principal; it basically acts like a giant sponge, absorbing runoff and pollution that could otherwise go to our stream.” 

Joseevia and Roselyn explained to elected officials how Eco-fy Edgewood went and how they will create storm drain art before the year ends to continue to create awareness.  When the day came to an end, students left Annapolis empowered and inspired to continue effecting positive change.

Way to go, Edgewood Middle Rams!  We are proud of you!