brings nature into the classroom and the classroom into nature in area elementary and middle schools. Through teacher
orientation, classroom mentoring and extracurricular activities, program
volunteers instill within students an ethic of stewardship for
the local environment. Ongoing projects include a gardening initiative and nature trail renovation.
Maine Apprentice Gardener Program: In the spring of 2000 at Great Salt Bay School (GSBS) in Damariscotta, what
would become the Maine Apprentice Gardener (MAG) curriculum was launched as
a cooperative pilot project between the University of Maine Cooperative
Extension and the Pemaquid Watershed Association. Since then over 300
children have participated in the MAG program.
The seed for MAG was planted in 1995 when PWA's environmental education
program first conducted gardening activities in local schools to increase
young people's understanding of and respect for the environment and for
nature and biology of plants. It was in 2000 that Doris Balant of
Newcastle, a long-time member of PWA and a Master Gardener, connected with
Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension to explore development of a curriculum
for youngsters to parallel the Master Gardener course offered to adults by
For several years, a dedicated group of Master Gardeners worked with
GSBS teacher Rachel Richardson Zoller to develop the
Gardener Program. They designed it to parallel the Master Gardener program
and also to fully align with Maine Learning Results. Working in close
cooperation with Extension Educator Mark Hutchinson, the program was able to
get a 4-H Youth Development Grant for classroom equipment, including, most
notably, a light stand for growing plants indoors. In 2007 UMaine Extension
published the curriculum, making it available throughout the State. In
addition to its use at GSBS, the curriculum has been used since 2009 at
Bristol Consolidated School (BCS), since 2007 at Warren Community School,
and at other schools and youth programs across New England. Hundreds of
copies of the print and CD versions have been sold. There also has been
great interest in the MAG program with home school and public school groups
at the Common Ground Fair, through the Maine School Garden Network, and
Maine Ag in the Classroom.
The goal of the
MAG Curriculum is to connect young people with the
natural world and with the source of their food. The 32-lesson MAG
curriculum is geared for third and fourth graders and includes study of
botany, insects, soil conservation, water, conservation, and the planning
and planting of a garden. Over the summer, the students weed, water, and
harvest from their garden at the school. In addition, Apprentice Gardeners
perform a community service project, which is analogous to the volunteer
time given to the community by adult Master Gardeners.
MAG lessons are taught by volunteer Master Gardeners working with the
classroom teacher. Master Gardeners at GSBS over the years include Doris
Balant, Karen Kleinkopf, Carol Krajnik, Mary Bausch, Connie Bright, and Tom
Quaranto, with the support of science teacher, Dan Hupp. The BCS program is
conducted by Bonnie Potter and Elizabeth Henson, working with fourth grade
teacher, Judy Cotton.
Funding for the raised beds and soil at BCS was provided by
Knox-Lincoln Extension Home Horti-culture funds. The Old Bristol
also made donations to both schools, providing support for a watering system
at BCS and a
light stand for GSBS. A PWA MAG-dedicated fund provides the other supplies
needed for the program. Donations to the MAG Fund are welcome. For
information about the MAG curriculum, contact Liz Stanley, Horticulture
Coordinator at Knox-Lincoln Extension at firstname.lastname@example.org. To
make a tax-deductible donation in support of MAG, mail a check payable to
PWA with "MAG" in the memo to PO Box 552, Damariscotta, ME, 04543.
PWA is grateful to the principal Master Gardeners responsible for the
development and implementation of the MAG program: Lonnie Anderson, Doris
Balant, Connie Bright, Carolyn Hardman, Bernie McAlice, Bonnie Potter, and
Tom Quaranto, as well as the invaluable program support from UMaine
Extension staff, Mark Hutchinson and Liz Stanley.
Hauschka Scholarship Fund: Every child deserves wonderful outdoor camp experiences. In that spirit,
PWA established the Hauschka Scholarship Fund in 2001 in honor of the family
that spearheaded the rganization's grassroots origins. Ted and Elsa
Hauschka were the primary founders of the Biscay Pond Association in 1966,
which became PWA in 1973. Their namesake scholarship fund continues their
legacy and dedication to sharing the wonders of, teaching respect for and
educating our youth about the natural world around us and serves as a
lasting reminder of the important contributions the Hauschkas made towards
preserving the natural beauty of our region. From 2001 to 2011, PWA has
distributed $16,810 in scholarships to 108 children to attend summer camp,
including Tanglewood 4-H Camp in Lincolnville, Morris Farm Day Camp in
Wiscasset, Wavus-By-Day in Jefferson. This fund relies on private donations
to keep it going. Please donate to the scholarship fund today.
You can donate now online via Network for Good – click on the icon below. Your donation can benefit PWA's general operations, or you can designate Hauschka Scholarship. Thank You!.
Clean Water Learning Activities Developed
Peter Arnold, Coordinator of the Pathways to a Sustainable Future Program at The Chewonki Foundation, invited PWA to contract with Chewonki to develop a curriculum to complement their newly published Clean Water Poster. The vision was to have hands-on learning activities that directly taught the messages on the poster. After 7 months of collaboration, the vision has come to fruition, and this “kit” of teaching tools is now available online at
The goal of the lessons is to promote awareness, apprecia-tion, understanding, and stewardship of water resources. The five activities included in this curriculum correspond to each of the five contextual areas highlighted on the Clean Water poster: Less Lawn, Green Buffers, Waste and Recycling, Energy Choices, and Transportation. Additionally, the activities
were designed around behavioral learning objectives to pro-mote critical thinking and problem-solving skills related to the pollution dimensions listed across the bottom of the poster (Sediment, Chemicals, Oxygen Depletion, Metals, Biological).
The lessons are geared towards upper-elementary-age through middle-school-age children in science classrooms and informal teaching contexts. They were developed and field-tested by Tenley Wilder, PWA Education Coordinator, and reviewed by midcoast Maine educators. Each lesson includes a Navigation Bar that outlines the target audience of the activity, the time frame needed to complete the activity, and suggestions for other complementary lessons to be conducted before or after the activity. These extension activities offer service-learning opportunities to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the
learning experience, teach civic responsibility, encourage lifelong civic engagement, and strengthen communities for the common good.
PWA extends gratitude to Peter Arnold and his Program Assistant, Brendan Kober, and project advisors, Tracy Harkins of KIDS Consortium and Christine Smith of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The Pathways to a Sustainable Future poster series project was funded by Poland Spring Water Company in recognition of their continued interest in the health of our natural resources.