SNOW HILL – Snow Hill Middle School students got a glimpse of local heritage last week with a trip to George Island Landing.
On Friday seventh-graders from Snow Hill Middle spent the morning at George Island Landing in Stockton, an area once home to a busy shellfish industry. Students were able to explore marshes and learn about water quality.
“We’re combining a science lesson with a really fun activity,” teacher Everett Evansky said. “Kids are going to get dirty, they’re going to have the time of their life. They’re going to appreciate what makes the Eastern Shore truly special.”
Evansky, who teaches science at Snow Hill Middle, said throughout the school year students have taken part in a variety of activities meant to increase their understanding of the environment and benefit the community at the same time. In the fall, they took care of 500 Atlantic white cedar saplings and then helped plant them. They did biometric data collection at the Bishopville dam restoration area.
“Students were able to get firsthand experiential learning by going out into these environments,” Evansky said.
On Friday, his students explored George Island Landing. With guidance from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, they used nets to sample the various species in the water. They also checked water quality and discussed the difference between brackish and salt water. Students squealed with delight as they encountered crabs and shrimp.
“We’re testing water quality and catching animals,” seventh-grader Kenadi Holden said as she pulled on a set of waders before heading into the water.
The backdrop to the students’ explorations was a long-abandoned building that was once used for shellfish processing. Evansky said the setting would help show the students the connection between the bay and the economy.
“I chose this location because once upon a time George Island Landing had a thriving, profitable shellfish industry,” Evansky said. “Ultimately we want to give our kids the skills to say what would it take to bring that industry back, what would it take to create a bay that can be clean and enjoyable and profitable. If you don’t understand what you have, you’re very likely to lose it.”
In addition to their science lessons, students spent a portion of the day picking up trash and litter on the waterfront.