Park School Receives $975,000 Grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to Restore Moores Branch

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The Park School of Baltimore was recently awarded a $975,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to restore Moores Branch, the stream that runs through Park’s campus, in the Jones Falls watershed. Park’s stream restoration project — intended to improve water quality and habitat — was one of the 18 proposals selected to improve Maryland’s waterways through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund. The school will partner with Ecotone Inc., an environmental design firm, to begin the restoration in spring 2019.   

Park’s longtime commitment to environmental stewardship made this restoration project a top priority for the school. As a natural resource and one of the campus features that is integral to programming, the stream plays an important part in the community. The primary objective is to provide ecological and functional uplift for the stream, which has been showing signs of erosion. For over 50 years, Park School has incorporated explorations of Moores Branch into the hands-on learning curriculum, serving students from all three divisions. From Kindergartners observing stream life to Middle and Upper Schoolers conducting in-depth studies of water quality, students have been able to explore, observe, and study the stream in a variety of ways. 

The process of applying for grants — and the resulting partnership with the DNR and Ecotone — also both serve as a model for civic engagement for Park’s students. As Ecotone works to restore the stream using environmentally sustainable practices, their staff will engage students of all ages by explaining the process and purpose of environmental restoration.

With the grant now secured, Park can complete the work of restoring Moores Branch, ensuring that current and future students will continue to experience the 100-acre campus as an extension of the school’s classrooms.

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