Lowell Leaders in Stewardship is an after-school youth environmental education program run in partnership with the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LP&CT) and Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary (Audubon) with support from the Lowell Public Schools. Since 2005, this program has offered STEM-based environmental education programs at a variety of locations throughout Lowell. The partnership leverages resources that neither organization could deliver alone. LP&CT provides local knowledge, resources, and partnership collaborations. Audubon staff brings a wealth of natural history knowledge including native wildlife to complement the skills of LP&CT’s staff which are focused on experiential learning and youth engagement. Together, this program provides youth the opportunity to contribute to improving the world around them in such a way that they can see positive change on the ground. Learn more about the program background and educational programs. Programs that contain a climate education component include the Summer Compass Program and the Morey Elementary After-School Program.
Rising 9th graders at the Summer Compass Program at Lowell High School learned about habitats, wildlife, stewardship, and homesteading through hands-on activities and experiments. One highlight of the program was learning about the importance of trees in our communities. Students met an American kestrel and screech owl and discussed trees as important components of a habitat. In addition, students explored the many benefits of trees from shade, to stabilizing soil on river banks, to also understanding their role in the carbon cycle and the effects of climate change.
At the C.W. Morey Elementary School, 3rd & 4th graders are diving into the wonderful ecological attributes the New England area has to offer. Students have visited with a number of wildlife such as a Cedar Waxwing and Canada goose to get a better understanding of animal adaptations, habitat needs, and physical characteristics of different species. Through hands on activities students have also been learning about weather and climate, animal and plant survival techniques during winter, healthy soil, and identifying clues left behind by animals in the form of tracks and scat.
Lowell Leaders in Stewardship were featured in the Land Trust Alliance’s Saving Land magazine, and spoke at the Alliance’s 2014 Rally, as highlighted in the video below.
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Other national programs and initiatives are detailed by The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.