Tag Archives: Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences Program

Girls Rockin’ Science at Menokin

Last week, the 6th grade class of Westmoreland County Middle School visited Menokin as part of the TOTS (Think Outside The Sink) program. TOTS is one of several programs that make up the Meaningful Watershed Experience Program that is a joint venture between several natural resource conservation projects in the Northern Neck.

The class divided itself along the gender line, so while the boys started over at the house, the girls took place in an interactive math and graphing experiment design to measure the volume of water in a riverbed.

This involved….MATH. And…..SCIENCE.  And……CRITICAL THINKING.  And, to be fair, a good amount of GIGGLING (these were 6th grade girls, remember).

The exercise worked like this. The girls formed two rows (representing flowing water sources) that converged at a few points and eventually narrowed into one end point. The flowing water was made up of dried beans, which were passed from person to person, heading downstream at a quick pace.  The people at the convergence points had the toughest job – receiving beans from two directions and then trying to get them on their way downstream at the same time. Naturally, a lot of beans got dropped at these points, which represented the tendency of water to overflow or flood at these points when the volume is greater than the channel.

What thrilled me beyond all measure was that they were ALL participating. No one was hanging back. No one whining about being bad at math or science.

I wished out load that the beans were magic and would grow a beanstalk so we could steal the golden goose and fund our building project. This daydream led to the naming of their project as The Menokin Magic Bean Stream.

The beans that made it all the way downstream were counted and subtracted from the original starting number. This information was calculated by season and other variables. That data was then plotted on a bar graph to visually represent the information gathered.

I was so thrilled to watch our STEAM program at work and targeting the demographic of students that is traditionally left behind in this kind of study. I would like to thank these girls and their mentors and teachers for taking advantage of our education programs at Menokin, and for making my day!


  • Find out more about our education programs and initiatives on our website.
  • Be sure to check out the best deal around in summer camps: Junior Duck Stamp Camp!
  • The Smithsonian Institution’s Water|Ways Exhibit is coming to Menokin for six weeks starting on July 15th. Details here.

 

 

Three Northern Neck Organizations Receive $10,000 Environmental Grants From The Dominion Foundation

The Menokin Foundation, the Northern Neck Land Conservancy and Stratford Hall, all located in Northern Neck, have each received a $10,000 grant from The Dominion Foundation to support their environmental projects. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Dominion Resources and the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power.

The Menokin Foundation and the Northern Neck Land Conservancy’s programs focus primarily on the Cat Point Creek watershed—one of the most pristine examples of tidal freshwater systems remaining in the Chesapeake Bay region and the entire East Coast, according to the Nature Conservancy—while Stratford Hall’s project enhances the nature trail experience on its 1,900 acre property in Westmoreland County.

“Providing grants for environmental projects is one of the mainstays of our corporate giving program,” said Paul D. Koonce, chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power. “We know supplying electric power affects our world, so we focus on obeying environmental laws and regulations, operating our units efficiently, and giving back to our communities.” Grants are funded from corporate profits, not customer bills.

The Menokin Foundation will apply the Dominion grant funding to develop and implement its Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences Program.  The program is centered at Menokin’s 500-acre site in Richmond County along Cat Point Creek.  Targeted to students in grades 6-8 in the region, the program meets the need for off-campus trips and field investigation offered at no charge to the schools.

“The Menokin Foundation is so pleased to receive this generous grant,” explained Executive Director, Sarah D. Pope. “The objective of our program is to connect students to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through their shared sense of responsibility and action.”

The Northern Neck Land Conservancy’s grant goes towards their outreach efforts to the community about land conservation needs, particularly in the Cat Point Creek watershed.

Jamie Tucker, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Land Conservancy (NNLC) stated, “Funds from the Dominion Foundation allows the NNLC to provide educational activities and public presentations to our local community such as a guided canoe trip on Cat Point Creek by a local botanist, planned for June 29.  The upcoming Boots & BBQ public event at Naylor’s Beach on September 15 will feature information about protecting the land and wildlife around Cat Point Creek.”

Stratford Hall plans to use this funding towards providing a new nature trail experience for its visitors.

“We are pleased that The Dominion Foundation has recognized the importance of Stratford’s nature trails through awarding of this grant,” said Paul Reber, Executive Director. “As we seek to upgrade our nature trails, provide our visitors with new maps and signage, this grant is a significant step toward accomplishing our goal.”

Stratford’s six nature trails on the 1,900-acre property span from the historic area around the Great House down to the beach on the Potomac River. They include the Spring House, Vault, Little Meadow, Silver Beech, Mill Overlook and Mill Pond Trails. The trails serve as a natural resource for leisure and education and are used by a growing number of visitors.

Dozens of environmental groups in Virginia will share $500,000 in grants this year from the Foundation to preserve wetlands, plant trees, monitor water quality and more. The first wave of grants – $275,000 –was awarded in April 2013 to 17 organizations.

A complete listing of recipients is available at https://www/dom.com/about/community/pdf/spring-2013-env-grants-awarded.pdf.

Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 megawatts of generation 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at http://www.dom.com.

For more information about each of the three grant recipient organizations, visit:

www.menokin.org
www.nnlc.org
www.stratfordhall.org