Chesapeake Climate Countdown Citizen Science (CCCCS)

Project Coordinator — Maggie Cahalan
The Chesapeake Education, Arts, Research Society (CHEARS), a volunteer 501(c)(3) organization, with partner non-profits, School of Living (SOL)’s Heathcote Education Center, and Steam Onward/Ujamaa Co-operative Farming Alliance (UCFA) have been awarded a Community Engagement Mini-Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  Each of these organizations are engaged in different ways in demonstrating sustainable agriculture low impact practices, that foster watershed health, and supporting the Great Food Transition in this decade. This is a transition that science is telling us we must make toward a more healthy, fair, and environmentally responsible food system. The project also addresses in a small way the need for reparation for intergenerational food and nutrition inequity for peoples of color through fostering the use of open pollinated heirloom seed gardens growing culturally meaningful seeds. This is a Multisolving project that seeks to address with a sense of urgency the combined challenges of steadily growing stream  and water pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, and persistent intergenerational inequity, as manifest in our land use and food growing sector.  The funds will be used to support two primary activities: 1) A set of 8 educational co-learning workshops organized by the three partners. The workshops will be designed to engage our community in understanding the urgency of the problem, the historical food system context, as well as studying examples of current food movements that foster low impact foods as well as low-impact growing practices; and 2) Hands on Citizen Science activities modeling the impact of low-impact practices on stream health and soil erosion.  Volunteers will conduct regular measurements using the Penn State  First Investigation of  Stream Health (FISH) protocol and installing  soil erosion pins at 3 sites.  To support these activities CHEARS requested $4,314 in CBT community engagement mini-grant support and CHEARS pledges a match of $4,314.  The project will also involve an estimated $4,800 of in-kind support from volunteers from CHEARS, SOL/Heathcote, and Ujamaa for a total cost of the project of about $13,428. 

Resources for Chesapeake Climate Countdown Citizen Science (CCCCS).. Click Below for Power Point Slides from Co-Learning Workshops and Other Materials

Click Below for Power Point Slides from Co-Learning Workshops and Other Materials

Sept 10, 4 to5:30PM ZOOM Introduction Workshop

Oct 8 4 to 5:30PM Eating and Growing Low Impact Foods for Climate and Personal Health-Focus on Ecology Action-Grow Biointensive

Nov 12 4 to 5:30 PM Steam Onward Youth Action Research and Ujamaa Co-operative Farming Alliance (UCFA)

Four Citizen Science Study Sites-Volunteers are also Needed for Hands on Stream Health Measures

Chesapeake Costal Plain Sites

Indian Creek Tributary in the Anacostia Watershed in Prince George County MD 

This stream is on the site of the Springhill Lake Recreation Center in Greenbelt MD.  This is the site of the CHEARS Greenbelt Food Forest and Three Sisters Garden-West. This part of the stream is subject to flooding after storms.  Working with Earth Squad children from Springhill Lake Elementary School, volunteers are needed to work with the children and adults in measuring water quality and systems modeling potential impact. CHEARS –Contact Carolyn-Lambright Davis

Mattawoman Creek Tributary in Indian Head MD

 This stream feeds into Mattawoman Creek, a critical estuary for the Lower Potomac River.  It is located adjacent to a nearby middle school and elementary school. Steam Onward/Ujamaa will work with Charles County students to determine the health of the stream and document changes throughout the year. The site will also be utilized as part of a Steam Onward Wangari Maathai Food Forest Project. Volunteers are needed to work with students on collecting water quality measurements, erosion/deposition measurements, systems modeling potential impact, and the Food Forest plantings and maintenance.  Steam Onward/Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance– Contact  Diane Fisher 

Chesapeake Piedmont Sites

Heathcote Run in Gunpowder Watershed

This is the site of Heathcote Community, a 57-year old intentional community that is part of the School of Living’s Community Land Trust in Freeland, MD. The historic Heathcote Mill serves as the community’s educational facility where they host workshops and community events. The Heathcote Community Farm grows healthy food on Piedmont marginal land. Volunteers are needed to take the water quality measures and to work on designing and implementing an edible riparian buffer supporting the Heathcote Community Farm’s program of growing and modeling the impact of growing healthy food on marginal lands. School of Living/Heathcote– Contact Karen Stupski

Ebaugh’s Creek and Shaw Stream in Stewartstown PA in Headwaters to Deer Creek Going into MD

Ebauch’s Creek and Shaw Stream flow through the site of the Many Streams Farm, a 40- acre old Piedmont Hill Farm which is participating in the PASA Alley Cropping Demonstration project.  The farm is being regenerated with Project Drawdown Climate Solutions: Tree Intercropping, Multi-Story Agroforestry, for a Plant Based Diet to foster the Great Food Transition. We also have a focus on experimenting with seed farming for the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance. The average US diet takes 2.7 acres per person to feed one person for a year. The goal of this project is to co-learn how the same acreage can feed 8 persons per year with tree intercropping, multi-story agroforestry, seed farming of plant-based foods that have high impact for health and low-environmental impact providing a healthy and tasty diet! Volunteers are wanted to participate in implementing Drawdown Solutions, systems modeling potential impact, and good food eating experiment! CHEARS– Contact Maggie Cahalan