October 2, 2023 /
Christina Hester

Crimsonbridge Foundation Funding Brings MWEEs to Schools

In a world facing unprecedented environmental challenges, educating our youth about the importance of environmental stewardship is crucial. Here at Casey Trees, we go about this through a variety of educational programs such as Nature Near Schools and our Treewise Camp Program. But recently, we have taken a significant step toward expanding our reach with the support of a generous grant from the Crimsonbridge Foundation.

This opportunity has enabled Casey Trees to grow on our innovative environmental education program, which delivers standard-aligned environmental literacy lessons to 5th-grade students in DCPS (DC Public Schools) and DCPCS (DC Public Charter Schools).

Thanks to the generosity of Crimsonbridge Foundation, we will be instructing 90 students by partnering with up to three Title 1 schools, which serve economically disadvantaged students. In addition, one of these schools will include Spanish language instruction, ensuring that students from diverse backgrounds have access to this vital environmental education.

Environmental education is essential in fostering an understanding of our natural world and empowering students to make informed decisions about environmental issues. With climate change, biodiversity loss, and other ecological challenges threatening our planet, the need for comprehensive environmental education has never been greater.

At the heart of Casey Trees’ education efforts is the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) curriculum. Designed for 5th-grade students, this comprehensive program covers a wide range of environmental topics and includes four key components:

Environmental Issue Definition

Students will delve into critical environmental issues, gaining a deep understanding of topics such as climate change, urban forests, and water quality.

Outdoor Field Experiences

Learning goes beyond the classroom as students embark on outdoor field experiences. These excursions allow students to connect with nature firsthand, fostering a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Synthesis and Conclusions

Through data collection and observation during their field experiences, students develop the skills necessary to analyze and draw conclusions about the environment.

Stewardship Action Projects

Casey Trees’ program goes beyond theory. Students actively engage in stewardship action projects, putting their knowledge into practice by participating in initiatives to improve and conserve their local environment.

The MWEE program not only equips students with a deep understanding of environmental issues but also fosters critical thinking skills, scientific inquiry, and a sense of responsibility towards the environment. By engaging in real-world projects, students learn to take ownership of their surroundings and become active agents of positive change.

Thanks to the Crimsonbridge Foundation, we’re not just teaching students about the environment; we are cultivating a generation of young environmental stewards who will help protect and preserve the natural world for years to come. This initiative stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and investment in education to shape a more sustainable future.