EDS students Kaitlin Miller and Maci Fontenot plant marsh grass on the beach. The class planted over 3,000 plants Thursday. (Ashley Withers / American Press)
Wesley Maze and Matthew Aleshire work together to plant Bitter Panicum, a marsh grass, on the beach on Thursday. (Ashley Withers / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, May 25, 2012 2:53 PM
A group of Episcopal Day School students traveled to Cameron Parish Thursday morning for a hands-on wetlands preservation project.
The second- and third-graders planted more than 3,000 marsh grasses, bitter panicum, at the beach. When planted in groups, this type of marsh grass grows together to form a barrier to the shoreline. Over time, it will help build up sand dunes and prevent erosion.
Class participation in the project was a part of the prize pack for the America’s Wetland Foundation’s 10th anniversary Keep Your Eyes on the Prize contest.
Kaitlin Miller, a second-grader, and Wesley Maze, a third-grader, were two of the grade-level winners of the contest.
“I’m having fun,” Miller said. “I feel good because I could help America’s wetland.”
Maze said, “I’m glad to be out on the beach and planting to help nature grow.”
AWF and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana planned the planting project.
Buddy Boe, a project manager for AWF, is proud of the work the students accomplished and is glad to see the hands-on project come to fruition.
“Our main mission is to raise public awareness. We do this in a variety of ways for a variety of age groups,” Boe said. “To reach school-age kids, we held this contest. ... The contest is what got them thinking, but this gets their hands dirty to actually save the coast.”
Two other EDS students won the contest for their grade levels — Aniese Kattash, a sixth-grader, and Emily Hart, an eighth-grader.
The sixth- and eighth-graders completed their planting project in early May.
Altogether, the EDS students planted 9,000 marsh grasses.
“These kids are our future. Getting them to understand the importance of preserving the wetlands is vital,” Boe said.