The Potomac Highlands Watershed School - SCE Forum Projects 2009

Gonzaga College High School, Washington DC

The Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum provides an academic foundation for students to connect with local groups that are engaged in watershed protection. 

Gonzaga College High School students toured the Pope Branch watershed with Jim Woodsworth, Director of Tree Planting and Stewardship for Casey Trees, as part of their 2009 Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum

Gonzaga is located on the edge of the Anacostia watershed in Washington D.C.  Pope Branch, the tributary they toured, flows to the Anacostia, the Potomac, and then the Chesapeake Bay.  On Tuesday, April 14, 2009, Casey Trees led Gonzaga SCE Forum students on a tour of their Pope Branch watershed projects.  John Ausemaís Biology/Environmental Science Class learned about  Casey Tree's work helping the community plant trees to improve water quality and improve quality of life.  Trees reduce stormwater runoff, capture pollutants and particulates from the air, lower temperatures in the summer, buffer noise, and generally improve the livability of urban areas.

On the Anacostia restoration project, Casey Trees is working with the National Park Service, owner of the land, as well as private homeowners, and the DC Government.  The Anacostia River is in bad shape in spite of the fact that upstream areas are lined by parkland for several miles.  The Anacostia is one of only two rivers nationwide classified as "impaired" for trash under the Clean Water Act.

View Pope Branch Tour in a larger map


Cacapon Institute, as part of the Chesapeake Bay Programís Education Work Group, will help schools connect with local watershed and conservation groups.  We encourage schools and watershed groups alike to use our Potomac Highland Watershed School to connect students to local issues in the context of regional watershed protection.  Connecting students to real world activities within an academic framework is the foundation for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience, a Project Based Learning requirement for D.C., MD, PA, and VA students.