News & Press Releases
Meadowlark Hosts Teacher Workshop through support of the Volgenau Foundation
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens hosted a two day workshop, Natural History of the Potomac River Basin, for thirty Fairfax County Public Elementary School teachers this week in preparation of the new school year. With the goal of providing teachers with tools to help lead their classes on naturalist escorted trips to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and Potomac Overlook Regional Park, the workshop included lessons about the natural history of the Potomac River Basin and its biodiversity.
“I was looking for resources to further develop my curriculum, and this workshop provided me with so many resources that I feel I can really start to do that and make sure my facts are straight,” said Patience Galvan, 3rd grade teacher at Bush Hill Elementary School in Alexandria.
Several local experts gave informational sessions on wetland habitat, woodland and meadow areas at Meadowlark, pollinators in the environment and the Potomac River Basin. The workshop included tours of the native tree collection at Meadowlark and the Korean Bell Garden. Participants and experts discussed the use of this information to meet curriculum goals, as well as techniques of interpretation in the classroom.
“This workshop has been especially good at focusing on what this park represents and connecting it to a social studies SOL, a language arts SOL, science and art. It may take some fine tuning on a teacher’s behalf, but this workshop has helped in making that connection in the curriculum,” said Lori Altman, former 2nd grade teacher at Sherman Franklin Elementary School in McLean.
Meadowlark was able to host the workshop due to the support of the Volgenau Foundation, who awarded a grant to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority program Nature Nuts. As part of the grant, Meadowlark will be publishing a new Potomac Valley map for school classrooms.
"The Potomac Valley Natural History workshop inspired local teachers to consider the amazing biodiversity of our region as a template to enhance SOL based science learning. This, in combination with planned student field trips to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens will provide an exceptional experience for students and teachers alike,” said Keith Tomlinson, Botanical Garden Manager.
For more information on Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, visit www.nvrpa.org