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 – 12th grade
Time: One to three days during the school week.
A Day in Nature
Located along the Potomac River, students will get hands-on and minds-on in an outdoor, natural environment. Students will explore scientific and academic concepts through experiential learning. Students are immersed in nature to experience and explore the marsh, forest and river ecosystems.
Look out over the Potomac River to gain a historical and current understanding of how people impact the watershed. Explore our historic farm and meet our friendly barn animals to understand their role in our lives and environment.
Take action by participating in a riverside litter cleanup and learn more about what we can all do to protect nature.
Field Studies curriculum is adjusted for students K-12.
Students may eat lunch at the farm. The day typically runs from 10 AM to 2 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
Your students get to stay until 7pm! Program is similar to the day program but adds in dinner, a hayride and s’mores around the campfire!
An Overnight Adventure
Stay the night in our cabins at Hard Bargain 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 AM to 8 PM (Day 1) and 8 AM to 12 PM (Day 2).
Day 1 of the curriculum is similar to the day program which focuses on habitats, ecosystems, watersheds, human impact on the environment and what we can all do to help. Curriculum can be adjusted for the age and interests of the group. Of course, this includes meeting our farm animals! Then enjoy a wagon ride to the Potomac River, dinner and a campfire with s’mores under the stars. (weather permitting).
Day 2 of the program begins at 8:00am in the barnyard to help with chores or milk our cow. Build student confidence and team skills in our Challenge Course and then head out to explore the garden and learn about native plants. Students will participate in an interactive learning activity, Who Polluted the Potomac? that reveals students’ connection to the environment of the Potomac River and how we can all help protect our environment.
Provide your students a Multi-Day Overnight Meaningful Watershed Education Program
Local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay will provide the context for teaching 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.
Sample Program Schedule
Day 1 of the program consists of two classes: Team Building and Exploration of our Maryland Green Center. Each group of 10 to 15 students will complete both classes with a Trash Free lunch in between. The day typically runs from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Day 2 of the program begins at 9 AM 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, the forests, Accokeek Creek, and the Potomac River. The day includes a Trash Free lunch and typically runs until 4 PM, followed by a Wagon Ride to the Potomac River (weather permitting).
Day 3 of the program begins at 8 AM in the barnyard for chores or cow milking and on to explore the garden to learn about growing food, native plants and pollinators. Students participate in an action project such as a litter cleanup to fulfill their MWEE requirements. Students will participate in an interactive learning activity, Who Polluted the Potomac? that reveals students’ connection to the environment of the Potomac River and how we can all help protect our environment.
The Alice Ferguson Foundation can support your Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience through a field trip or overnight at Hard Bargain Farm.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help!