Lincolnville Central School (LCS) is a K-8 school in Midcoast Maine. Surrounded by forest, with Norton Pond a short walk away, it is an ideal location for studying local ecology. Students in grades 4 through 8 began their year learning about the Megunticook Watershed and worked with local artist Randy Fein to create a ceramic mural that was recently installed in the school. The mural depicts the Megunticook Watershed and is titled, “Our Community Watershed, Protect and Preserve.”
For many years, middle school students have raised salmon for release as part of the Salmon in Our Schools program. Seventh graders study the life cycle of Atlantic salmon and share their information with their second grade friends. On Wednesday, May 23, these students released our salmon into the Wescot Stream in Swanville. Our salmon will travel down the Wescot to the Passagassawakeag River, where they will live until they reach their adult stage and enter the ocean. When they are ready to mate, they will return to the Wescot Stream. The Wescot has a grade A classification, which means that it is one of the cleanest streams in the state. Our endangered Atlantic salmon need all the help they can get, so LCS students are working to learn more about the waterways of Maine, and how they can help protect them.
With funds from the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), seventh grade students are continuing their watershed studies by surveying the school grounds to identify human activities and structures that might adversely affect our local watershed. They are also identifying the plants and animals living on the school grounds, writing brief field guides for these organisms, mapping their locations, and using their presence to assess the health of the environment around the school. We hope that learning even more about the watershed ecology will spark curiosity in the students about the natural world and its relationship to their community.
—by Nancy Stevick