Kids plant solutions to the bay's troubles

June 15, 2005

About 150 pupils from South Shore and Edgewater elementary schools waded waist-deep into the waters of the Severn River on Monday morning to plant redhead grass along the riverbed.

The mass planting was the culmination of a series of projects the pupils have worked on all year through the Chesapeake Connections program.

Sponsored by the state Department of Natural Resources, the program is designed to educate pupils and get them involved in keeping the Chesapeake Bay healthy.

The pupils grew the grass, one of the few aquatic plants recovering from the pollution and nutrient overload in the river, said Stephen Barry, coordinator of outdoor education for the school system.

"Our most critical problem is a lack of submerged aquatic vegetation. ... By planting the redheads, we are complementing the existing shoreline and working to restore a natural shoreline," he said.

The Chesapeake Connections program involves 12 schools. More than 1,200 pupils have participated in planting redhead grass during field trips to the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, where Monday's event took place.

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