Get Hip to Habitat

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The Get Hip to Habitat program melds GBF’s environmental education and habitat restoration initiatives into a year-long program. The program teaches students about the ecosystem and watershed, as well as imparting a sense of ownership of and responsibility for their marsh restoration project, all while teaching them to be good stewards of Galveston Bay. See TEKS-alignment here.

Participation in the program requires commitment by teachers and students of a full school year abd consists of 4 parts: (2 field trips and 2 classroom workshops):

  1. Harvest & Nursery set up: In the fall, students take a field trip to the EcoCenter in Baytown to harvest native estuarine marsh grass with GBF educators and learn about the importance of wetlands. After, they set up mini-marsh grass nurseries on their school grounds.
    • Throughout the school year, students cultivate their grasses and monitor the growth and health of their mini-marshes by regularly testing and maintaining the proper environmental parameters of their nurseries.
  2. Engineering Shorelines Workshop: During the winter months, GBF education delivers this 1-hr long workshop to supplement the program. 6-8th grade students test a variety of shoreline protection methods to see which one will withstand increased wave action and examine coastal resiliency. 9-12th grade students act as restoration engineers to design a shoreline protection method for specific sites around Galveston Bay and test for coastal resiliency.
  3. Report Card Champions Workshop: Occurring in the winter and spring, this new advocacy workshop gives students the skills and knowledge needed to cultivate action for Galveston Bay. The workshop includes an introduction to conservation leadership, an overview of professional development skills, hands-on activities to promote communication skills, and culminates with students designing a campaign that can be used to conserve Galveston Bay.
  4. Plant Restoration: In the spring, students take a second field trip to culminate their project by transplanting their matured grasses to local marsh restoration sites selected by GBF. They will also participate in a variety of hands-on field environmental education activities

One teacher’s remarks on the program:

“I cannot tell you what this program means for my students. For so many of them, it is the first time they see the world for what it can be outside of their neighborhoods. They are so very proud of their efforts and they work so hard throughout the year and have so much pride at school and at home from the project. I cannot thank you enough as a teacher! This program changes lives…not just those who inhabit the wetlands planted!”

Program cost: Varies depending on grant support. See registration form for more details!

For more information, please contact Megan Imme at mimme@galvbay.org