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Three New River-Friendly Schools

February 18th, 2020

As the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day approaches in April, we are especially appreciative of local schools that promote conservation and other River-Friendly practices.

The following schools teach our youngsters about the importance of water and the wonders of the natural world. Congratulations to three schools that became River-Friendly certified in January: The Laurel School of Princeton, The Waldorf School of Princeton, and Toll Gate Grammar School in Pennington. The process took about one year and involved innovative curriculum and stewardship projects on their campuses.

The Laurel School of Princeton, which specializes in educating students with language-based learning differences, became River-Friendly certified by teaching students about water quality, water conservation, and wildlife. As part of students’ participation in the Future City engineering lesson, they researched sustainable and resilient water supplies, imagined how to improve our infrastructure to provide clean water to everyone, and calculated their personal water footprint. Curious how that works? Raise your own Water IQ and calculate your own water footprint

The Waldorf School of Princeton attained an advanced level of certification by tailoring classes on river-friendly topics and making stewardship improvements to their campus. Some of these prominent features include a rain garden, which captures stormwater runoff from their driveway, and a large organic garden where the students learned about soils and composting. The school’s environmental stewardship is evident throughout the campus, and students are engaged in learning about environmentally-beneficial practices.

Toll Gate Grammer School has implemented a series of environmental lessons to become River-Friendly certified. In one lesson, students learned about green stormwater infrastructure and then designed their own model properties to capture rainwater. These models featured rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavement driveways, and more. In another lesson, the students researched endangered animals of New Jersey, and the created an artistic depiction of an endangered animal in its natural habitat. Engaging students with hands-on activities and a variety of media allowed a more full understanding and appreciation of environmental issues.

Do you know of a school that would be suitable for River-Friendly certification? If so, please contact River-Friendly Coordinator Erin Landis for details at (609) 737-3735 x 21 or [email protected]

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