The Watershed Institute hosted Summer Fellows Sachi Anand and Bianca Sanchez, who played a pivotal role in promoting environmental awareness among members of the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County. These two Delaware River Watershed Fellows worked under the umbrella of the Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) and directly for The Watershed Institute, one of the AWE environmental centers.
The Delaware River Watershed Fellowship was established in 2017 and involves cooperation between 23 AWE environmental centers. This initiative has gained significance within the Alliance, supported by the William Penn Foundation. Its primary objective is to enhance engagement and action in the protection and restoration of the Delaware River Watershed. Moreover, it strives to enhance collaboration and capacity among AWE centers, while also creating diverse career prospects for young adults residing in the watershed area.
This program simultaneously nurtures collaboration and the capabilities of AWE centers, offering diverse career opportunities for young adults from various regions of the watershed. Participants receive comprehensive instruction on watershed education and gain practical field experience, assuming roles as environmental educators and ambassadors in partnership with their respective centers.
During their summer at The Watershed Institute, Sachi and Bianca formulated lesson plans and implemented hands-on lessons for students in Trenton, focusing particularly on the role and significance of pollinators. They engaged the students by incorporating live insects into their teaching. At the conclusion of the summer program, over 200 students went on a field trip to the Watershed Reserve to explore the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House and the exhibits at the Watershed Center.
When not involved with the Boys and Girls Club, Sachi and Bianca collaborated with Watershed staff, participating in stewardship projects at the Watershed Reserve and assisting with outreach efforts alongside NJ Rise. They conducted tours of the Butterfly House, provided support for Nature Camp, and contributed to the Butterfly Festival.
Bianca is set to return as a senior at Allegheny College, pursuing Environmental Science and Sustainability, while Sachi will resume her studies as a junior at Brandeis University, focusing on Biology and Environmental Studies. Beyond the immersive 12-week summer Fellowship, AWE is dedicated to supporting its alumni, spanning across multiple cohorts. This includes sharing job opportunities and facilitating access to professional development programs such as AWE’s Watershed Professionals Institute. The overarching goal is to empower alumni with the necessary skills and guidance to confidently enter the environmental sector.