If you’ve watched the news, you’ve seen countless young people stepping up as environmental and social justice leaders. Our youth are the leaders not just of the future but of the present, too. We’re thrilled to be working with students and faculty at Bowie State University (BSU) to host educational, service, and professional opportunities on campus. Since 2020, we’ve enjoyed engaging with several incredible environmental advocates at BSU.

Members of the Bowie State University’s Green Ambassadors, pose during a Project Clean Stream event at Foxhill Park (photo credit: Emma Gregory, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

By providing supplies and extra hands, Alliance staff have supported several Project Clean Stream events hosted by Green Ambassadors, a group of student leaders dedicated to protecting the planet by motivating the Bowie State community to make more environmentally conscious decisions.

At the second seminar in 2020, panelists Dr. Tish Robertson, Trystan Sill, Dr. Tiara Moore, and Dennis Chestnut discuss the movement for environmental justice in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

In 2020, we collaborated with the Green Ambassadors to host two seminars for students on Bay-related topics, including environmental equity and the connection between the environment and public health. Next semester we’ll be working with Green Ambassadors to bring more speakers to campus to talk about Chesapeake Bay environmental issues.

Alliance’s Environmental Education Specialist, Meredeth Dash joined Dr. Alan Anderson’s organic chemistry class to give an overview of the Chesapeake Bay and the issues that impact its health.

Thanks to our 2021 Maryland Watershed Champion, Dr. Alan Anderson, we’ve also engaged with BSU students inside the classroom. The Alliance’s Education Specialist, Meredeth Dash, served as a guest lecturer in Dr. Anderson’s organic chemistry class, giving his students a foundational introduction to the Chesapeake Bay. We also worked closely with Dr. Anderson and several students to establish a student-led water quality monitoring program at BSU. Starting this fall, we’ll be expanding that program to include paid internships for students to do this work.

Earth Week 2022 at Bowie State University

This year, Alliance staff collaborated with Bowie State’s Climate Commitment Coordinating Council (C4) and the Green Ambassadors to plan an array of activities on campus in celebration of Earth Week. Here are pictures from the events we supported:

Tonya Johnson speaks to Bowie State students and faculty members about the native species found in the forests adjacent to campus. (Photo credit: Emma Gregory, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

On Tuesday, Tonya Johnson, a Park Naturalist from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, led a nature walk along a trail right next to campus. During the event, students, BSU faculty, and Alliance staff connected with BSU’s local ecosystem by learning about the ecology and native species found there.

Bowie State students Mardline Cadet-Prevot, Courtney Carr and Cadence Gandy begin to dig during a tree planting in recognition of Arbor Day. (Photo Credit: Ryan Pelham, Bowie State University)

Volunteers pose after planting 6 trees on campus as part of Bowie State’s journey to become one of the first HBCUs in Maryland to be certified as a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation. (Photo Credit: Emma Gregory, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay)

In early celebration of Arbor Day, Alliance staff and the rest of the Earth Week committee worked with volunteers to plant six trees on campus. John King and Michelle Siri joined our efforts, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, and their campaign team.

Mardeline Cadet-Prevot and Jabari Walker, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator and Chair of the C4, celebrate Earth Day with yard games at the Peace Park block party. (Photo Credit: Ryan Pelham/Bowie State University)

Earth Week culminated with a block party-style celebration at Peace Park on campus, including a DJ, a vegan food truck, and yard games. This event also kicked off the long-term project to revitalize that area, dedicated to all students who have lost their lives while studying at BSU.

As part of the brainstorming session, students considered what relaxing in nature means to them and contributed their thoughts to a board at the event.

The Alliance is partnering with C4 to transform this space into one where students can meditate, engage with one another, and reconnect with nature. Once completed, this project will benefit the Bay, BSU students and faculty, and the campus’ local ecosystem. During the celebration, Alliance staff spoke with students about their ideas and hopes for the park, which will shape the project’s future.

Alliance staff members Jenny McGarvey and Emma Gregory (seated on the left) pose with some members of the Earth Week planning committee, including Jabari Walker (standing in the back) and student leaders from Green Ambassadors.

Please join us in congratulating the Green Ambassadors, the Climate Commitment Coordinating Committee (C4), and Jabari Walker, Chair of C4, for hosting a week full of extraordinary Earth Week events. We’re honored that you let us support your efforts, and we’re excited to see what the future holds!

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