FIFTH-GRADERS and teachers at Clarksville Elementary School traveled to Lisbon on April 26 to plant trees and shrubs.
The Millennium Stream Buffer Planting Project, run by the Howard County Master Gardeners, combines a fifth-grade science unit on ecosystems with a field trip to plant native trees and shrubs. The trees and shrubs planted by the Clarksville children buffer streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay.
"It's a great thing to take off school to help nature," said Amber Hebron, 10, when she arrived at the site.
After the master gardener showed the children how to plant the trees, they broke into groups of three or four.
"We're planting trees to help the environment and to help stop erosion," said Justin Mauritz, 11.
The children calculated the size of the hole according to the tree size and dug the holes. After they put in the trees and filled the holes with soil, they were instructed to tamp the soil.
"This keeps the bugs from getting into the roots," said Robert Aronoff, 11.
Fifth-grade teachers Vickie Cohen, Tiffany Warren and Robert Garvey reminded the children to write down their observations about digging the holes and doing the planting.
The children planted shrubs and trees such as sycamore, pin oak, silky dogwood and red maple.
"There are a lot of different kinds of trees, and a whole lot of people get to work together," said Kelsey Tyson, 10.
After the plantings, the children measured how far their plants were from the stream. Master gardeners Cindy Hirschberg and Bonnie Edmonston walked among the kids to answer questions and guide them with their plantings.
Project leader Cheryl Gwyns said the trees and shrubs used in the program are native to Maryland.
"It increases the survival rate," Gwyns said.
The Millennium Stream Buffer Planting Project was recently awarded a grant of $11,394 by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Taught by classroom teachers - with material provided by Master Gardeners - the project, also known as Schools and Streams, has been growing in the three years it has been in existence.
Georgia Eacker, Maryland Cooperative Extension education coordinator for the master gardeners, said the number of schools and children involved, and the number of trees and shrubs planted will be almost double the number last year, thanks to the recent grant.
This year, children from at least 27 schools are expected to plant 1,325 trees and shrubs along Cabin Branch in western Howard County, Eacker said.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening recognized the program with his Volunteer and Service Award in the environmental category for 1999.
"We were really surprised," Gwyns said. "I think what we're doing is really great."
Many of the schoolchildren were enthusiastic as they planted and learned about stream buffers.
"Hey, guys, do you want to plant another?" Kelsey Tyson asked her group. The other girls responded with lethargic no's.
"It was very fun, but I wouldn't do it again," said Catie Fisher, 11.
"I think this field trip was very educational, because we got to help nature and we got to plant trees for the environment," said Rachel Ellinger, 11.
The Glenelg High School Bands and Marching Unit, led by director Barry Enzman, competed April 5, 6 and 7 in the Orlando All-Star Music Festival.
Competing as an AAA division school, the talented musicians returned home as grand champions in all of the divisions entered. The grand champion trophy is awarded to the school with the highest score, regardless of class.
Glenelg competed against bands from 10 states. The school placed first in its division and earned superior ratings in all of the categories, parade, concert band, jazz band and visual ensemble.
The Glenelg Drill Team, directed by Terry Newsome, and the Silks Squad, led by Diane Bissell, competed in visual ensemble.
Glenelg junior varsity and varsity cheerleading tryouts will be held May 11. Tryout clinics will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with final tryouts at 6 p.m. May 11.
Glenelg cheerleading extends over two seasons, fall and winter, and team members may choose to participate in one or both. Tryout permission slips are available at Glenwood Middle, Mount View Middle and Glenelg High.
Information: the team Web site, www.eteamz.com/glenelgcheer, or call head coach Paula Foster at 301-854-4994.