HMS Students Restore the Coast with LSU, Dow

Special to the Herald-Guide
October 24, 2007 at 2:57 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Destrehan, LA - Coastal Roots and Seedling Nursery Program is changing the way students view the coast.

Recently, 90 students from Harry Hurst Middle School's LaBranche Wetland Watchers, spent time at their restoration site in the Bonnet Carre Spillway planting baby trees with the assistance of Dow volunteers and the expertise of Coastal Roots. The activity was funded through the Dow Community Grant Program.

Coastal Roots, has been operated by LSU since its inception in 2001. It is a stewardship program with an integrated classroom and hands on educational program where students learn to develop a positive attitude about natural resources.

Throughout the program, students are provided with background information on wetland issues, such as conservation and ecological stewardship.

Students construct a school-based nursery where they grow native Louisiana plants. Then, they collect seeds, learn about germination and plant seeds in their school's nursery. After 6 - 8 months, the plants are ready to be transported to areas along the coast.

Hurst Middle is one of nearly 20 schools that are participating in southern Louisiana. The program is integrating real-life activities into the students' curriculum.

"All students benefit from this program, especially the special education students," said Dr. Ed Bush, from LSU School of Plants, Soils, and Environmental Management and Coastal Roots Co - Director. "They get a chance to learn through hands on experience and group interaction."

"Since the school is responsible for finding the funding for this program, Dow's grant money is what allows the program to happen for these kids," said Dr. Pam Blanchard, Coastal Roots Director, and professor in LSU Dept. of Educational Theory, Policy & Practice.

This is the fifth year of Dow's Community Grant Program, which has cumulatively given more than $215,000 in funding to local organizations. Grants are awarded to non-profit organizations for an array of projects that positively impact St. Charles Parish.

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