Outdoor classroom creates learning opportunity for Maryland students

Staff Reports

A unique partnership has created an outdoor classroom for elementary school students in Cecil County, Md., providing children an opportunity to learn about weather, water quality, runoff, biology, and recycling.

This project, known as the Conowingo Elementary School Water Quality Retrofit Project, was partially funded by Williams as a part of mitigation to offset impacts from the Rock Springs pipeline project.

Developed by the Cecil County Department of Public Works, the $275,000 water quality improvement project included the addition of bio-retention basins and swales, graveled wetlands, a green roof with rain barrels to measure runoff, pervious pavers, a rain garden and a rainwater harvesting system.

Besides helping the school improve its stormwater management, the project will also be incorporated into the existing science curriculum at Conowingo Elementary. County officials said they hope to replicate this model at other schools in the county.

Williams Environmental Specialist Devyn Richardson coordinated Williams’ involvement in the project. She says that this was much more than a typical mitigation project.

“I think the opportunity to apply science outside of the classroom and text books sparks the imagination and desire to learn,” says Devyn. “I take pride in working for a company that not only recognizes the value and importance of these types of projects, but actively seeks them out when possible through working with the local agencies and non-governmental organizations.”