Decorative Stencils Provide Lesson (Betty McCracken, MJRT)
Have you noticed the newly painted drop inlets at any Powhatan school? Each is a representation of an animal that lives in or around the James River. And each is reminding us "This is where your river begins. Only rain down the drain.". Elliot Gibbs, PHS Science teacher, reached out to the Dept. of Environmental Quality for grant funding to stencil the drop inlets, aka storm drains, with an environmental message. Skipping a few steps in the story, Olivia Hall, from the Middle James Roundtable (MJRT), heard about his request. Timing was right for his request to be written into one of that group's grants and funding became available. This is the first grant with which Mr. Gibbs has been involved. "STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education is on the forefront of what w e do. Part of that is working to be a good steward to the James River Watershed which feeds to the Chesapeake Bay", he commented. Little did Mr. Gibbs know at that time, but an environmental education stencil program (Paint Out Pollution) had already been developed by the James River Association and Art On Wheels of Richmond. Six artists created 38 stencils of animals that call the James River home. The stencils are applied in layers with special, colorful, long lasting spray paint. The student volunteers picked up quickly on the process. On the first day, Mr. Gibbs's class was able to install 30 stencils between Powhatan High and Flat Rock Elementary Schools. Day 2 required transportation of a class to Powhatan Middle, Elementary, and Pocahontas Elementary to paint 16 more storm drains. Examples of the stencils include a sturgeon, painted turtle, American eel, osprey, beaver, foxes, dragonflies, Monarch butterfly, mink, brown water snake and catfish. See if you can find them all! With the summer upon us, let these bright stencils remind us to respect waterways and habitats by keeping pollution out!
Soil Test Voucher Program Don't Guess....Get a Soil Test!
Although fertilizer can be very helpful in establishing happy, healthy plants, it poses a risk if not used properly. Excess fertilizer and chemicals wash away with rainwater and pollute our local streams and waterways. The first guideline of responsible fertilizer application is to take a soil sample and have it analyzed to determine fertilizer needs.
Henricopolis SWCD has established a soil test incentive program to offset the cost of soil analysis for Henrico County residents. Henricopolis will provide two coupons per household to Henrico County residents to cover the $10.00 processing fee for a standard soil test (not including postage). Soil test kits are available in the Henrico Extension Office or in county libraries.
Coupons are available by email or in-person Email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org Include your name, physical address andnumber of coupons requested
This project is supported with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.