Bridging the Watershed
Help your students discover science in national and state parks across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC with Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Bridging the Watershed program.
Designed for: 6th – 12th grade.
Time: 3-5 hours during the school day.
Cost: Free to Participating Teachers
Thanks to our partnership with the National Park Service and generous support from our donors, we are able to bring Bridging the Watershed field trips free to our participating teachers.
You must have successfully completed at least one summer teacher/ranger institute or a workshop in one or more of the Bridging the Watershed curriculum modules to request a free field study through this program. Check out our Teacher & Ranger Professional Development page for upcoming opportunities and workshops.
Requests for Spring 2023 programs will open January 1, 2023.
Hard Bargain Farm
Students coming to our historic Hard Bargain Farm environmental education campus (located in Accokeek, MD) get to discover science and explore the world around them through robust and engaging activities and lessons.
Designed for: K – 8 grade.
Time: One to three days during the school week.
A Day at the Farm
Located along the Potomac River, students will get hands-on and minds-on in an outdoor, natural environment. Throughout their time on the farm, students will be able to explore scientific and other academic concepts in authentic experiences. These classes are designed for grades K to 2, with age-appropriate activities. Students may eat lunch at the farm. The day typically runs from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
* Note: Times and activities may vary according to weather conditions, bus schedules, or special needs of the class participants and farm staff.
Extended Day Program
Similar to the day program at Hard Bargain Farm, these programs extended past school hours until 7 PM.
An Overnight Adventure at the Farm
The overnight program is designed for students grades 3 through 8 and consists of two days of age-appropriate activities, which typically run from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Day 1) and 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Day 2).
Day 1 of the program consists of two classes, each group of 10 to 15 students will do both classes: one in the morning and the other in the afternoon after a Trash-free lunch. The day typically runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm, followed by a Wagon Ride to the Potomac River and a campfire with s’mores (weather permitting).
Day 2 of the program begins at 8:00am in the barnyard for Cow Milking and Antique Tools or Children’s Garden. We will be in the garden during the warmer weather and the Antique Tools Class will be taught during the colder months. The students will participate in an interactive learning activity, Who Polluted the Potomac? that reveals students’ connection to the environment of the Potomac River.
Multi-Day Overnight Meaningful Watershed Education Program
Local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay will provide the context for teaching fifth-grade science standards that cover scientific inquiry; movement of water through the water cycle (earth science); and inheritance in living organisms, adaptation, and survival (life science). This three day, two night overnight Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) includes outdoor activities and project-based experiences that collect and analyze data.
The program includes:
- Three-day, two-night overnight field study that engages students in environmental education programming (watershed and sustainability lessons) and team-building activities
- Two classroom visits (before and after the field study) by professional environmental educators
Sample Program Schedule
Day 1 of the program consists of two classes: Team Building and Farm Life Exploration. Each group of 10 to 15 students will complete both classes with a Trash Free lunch in between. The day typically runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Day 2 of the program begins at 9:00am with a morning bird walk. Students spend the remainder of the day learning about the watershed through a series of interactive activities and classes including the Habitat Hike to explore wetlands, Accokeek Creek, and the Potomac River. The day includes a Trash Free lunch and typically runs until 4:00pm, followed by a Wagon Ride to the Potomac River (weather permitting).
Day 3 of the program begins at 8:00am in the barnyard for Cow Milking and Antique Tools or Children’s Garden. We will be in the garden during the warmer weather and the Antique Tools Class will be taught during the colder months. The students will participate in a role playing activity, Who Polluted the Potomac?, that reveals students’ connection to the environment of the Potomac River.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help!