The primary goal of the Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District is to provide educational programming about our local natural resources. We routinely bring together individuals, landowners, and representatives of community-based organizations to facilitate educational programs around current natural resource issues or concerns. We also celebrate the diversity of our surrounding landscape through educational programming.
Our education objectives include:
- fostering an appreciation for, and knowledge of, the natural world among students and other community members
- encouraging responsible environmental citizenship among our residents, resulting in sustainable local ecosystems, communities, and economies
- using locally-collected data to illustrate our education topics, encouraging a greater understanding of our area
- including programming that informs our citizenry of research, studies, and data results for our area
- devising a framework for coordinating and developing program activities, maintaining staffing/volunteers
- diversifying and updating our programming to sustain environmental education programs for the long-term
SPOTLIGHT - Educational Programs
Every year for the past 22 years, PMNRCD offers 5th- and 6th-grade students the opportunity to participate in a day filled with natural-resource-based workshops and presentations on the Green Mountain College campus. Many of the workshops are out-of-doors and hands-on, with students identifying fish and macroinvertebrates of the Poultney River and participating in a stream flume demonstration, to name a few. The presenters include State and Federal conservation workers, local college students, museum directors, our local veterinarian, and many others.
Watershed Alliance South
Watershed Alliance South is a program initiated by the University of Vermont’s Lake Champlain Sea Grant (LCSG). PMNRCD works closely with LCSG to provide watershed-based science education to area schools. The District typically works with six schools per year to provide in-stream programming; measuring the physical, biological, and chemical properties of a local stream and then using that information to assess the health of the stream.
Lake Education and Action Program
Through Lake Education and Action Program (LEAP), the District partners with homeowners along Lake Saint Catherine and Lake Bomoseen to provide education and promote good land stewardship practices to protect the water quality in the lake. The District combines forces with a team of Poultney High School student interns to provide native buffer plantings and invasive plant removal activities, complete educational surveys, and go door-to-door with information about a variety of water quality topics. The LEAP program has created a successful partnership between residents on Lake Saint Catherine and the District since 2004.
The Nursery Example Gardens
We are busy making example gardens at our Native Plant Nursery highlighting the functional uses of native plants on the landscape. In the upcoming season the Nursery is hoping to add a pollinator and a rain garden. In the meantime take a virtual tour of the our planned gardens!
The Poultney Nature Trail
In Summer 2015 the District coordinated with local partners to clean up the loop of the Poultney Nature Trail located near the Stonebridge as thunder storms and winter ice storms in 2014 had created hazardous conditions along the trail, making it impassable. The District received a grant from the Hills and Hollows Fund to coordinate the cleanup effort and update the educational programming used by local classes. The trail is now ready for use by all thanks to many hardworking hands and Hills and Hollows generosity.
With the handicapped accessible trail, an outdoor classroom, a clean stream, and identified areas of interest for exploration, the District piloted a one week place-based summer camp at the South Lake Education Center and Nature Trail for children ages 7 – 10. Children participating in this camp explored their surroundings using science/scientific method and the arts together to facilitate an integrated learning experience. This summer camp offered the South Lake Education Center the opportunity to begin to build an exemplary education program in South Lake watershed within the Lake Champlain Basin.