This is the third year of FLOW, and from the outset our objective has been for every 8th grade student to have the opportunity to spend a week canoeing and camping in our local watershed. In order to accomplish this, though, a great deal of coordination and planning has to take place. Local organizations and individuals have donated money and clothing. The athletic director and coaches have altered the sports schedule and practice expectations. Teachers have had to be flexible and stand in for their colleagues who are out on the trip. And, as we hoped, the participation rate has increased each year.
- 2014 -- 65%
- 2015 -- 76%
- 2016 -- 82%
But even with all that work, we expect that for some kids FLOW might be too far outside their comfort zone. Or maybe sudden, unforeseen circumstances might come up, making it impossible for them to be away from home. Monica Wright, a science teacher at Bath Middle School, had the idea for students not attending FLOW to do service projects on the local trail system right in Bath. So we reached out to the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) to collaborate on meaningful work that still got kids outside, but allowed them to go home each night.
|Mr. Meserve helping students dismantle a rotten bridge.|
|Siting the supports for the new bridge.|
|Preparing the site on the opposite bank.|
|Laying down the planking on the bridge surface.|
|Getting a lesson in planking the bridge surface.|
Within hours of completing the fourth bridge, mountain bikers and hikers were already happily trying them out.
|Mountain biker trying out one of the new bridges.|