Goal 2: "To share knowledge of our watershed, with education projects that effectively engage us in learning about our diverse bioregion."

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." Lao-Tzu

“If our young people do not participate and learn from our leaders, it is just a matter of time before the work that our elders have done is forgotten." Luke Cordell, to United Nations, July 25,2000 Dakota/Lakota

"We recognize our relationship to the past and to our future because they are the same thing.” Winona LaDuke, Anishinabe

The Need: According to the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF) there is a "persistent and troubling lack of environmental knowledge among Americans," with two out of three of us failing a simple environmental quiz. At the same time that there is "widespread environmental illiteracy," the public expresses strong support for environmental education in schools and extending to adults. For example, few of us know where our water for drinking, cooking, and bathing come from? What happens to our waste water? What stream, river, or other body of water is closest to where we live? Where does its water come from? Where does it go? What is a watershed? Which drainage basin do we live in? How long can people live without fresh water? What percentage of Earth's fresh water is stored in ice? How has the total amount of ice been changing in the past few years?

CHEARS Approach: We are organizing CHEARS to provide a vehicle for lifelong cross-generational learning to educate ourselves and reach out to others concerning the health of all creatures in our bioregion. We take inspiration from American Indian emphases on experiential learning in the community passed between young and old. We work in the traditions of Place Based Education and Partnership Education, with a focus on cultural and natural history, real world problem solving, learning by doing, critical thinking, and collaborative learning. In this approach teachers and students are co-learners, with teacher as facilitators. Students help create knowledge rather than simply being consumers of information. We seek transformational knowledge to foster a love of place leading to responsible communal stewardship of the environment. To achieve our education goal, we organize diverse teams that include participants of all ages, family groups, urban, suburban and rural, ethnic, and immigrants, and at-risk students.

CHEARS Current Educational Activities: CHEARS is working to achieve its educational goals in two ways: 1) Organizing or co-sponsoring educational workshops to support learning in areas related to the health of the watershed; and 2) Co-sponsoring a pilot Earth Scouts/Tutoring program within a local area school serving an Hispanic immigrant neighborhood.

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Mentor/Tutor: The Earth Squad/Tutoring program is in need of volunteer tutors who can commit to one and half hours each week. Volunteers are also needed to plan and lead monthly fun and service projects with the students. Contact for more information.

  • Donate Money or Other Types of Support: CHEARS is dependent on donnor support for its work and financial support is needed. In addition, we collect used computers and software for local students. We are hoping to provide each student in the Earth Scouts/Tutoring program with a recycled computer with educational and environmental education software. If you have a working computer with a CD drive that you would like to donate (laptops or desktop), please contact

  • Attend: Our next workshop or special event, (see News Items or Calendar for listing of upcoming events).

Contact: Maggie Cahalan

Chesapeake Conservancy, 2021: Restoration Reports Many Streams Farm. Restoration Reports 2020 Chesapeake Conservancy. (published) [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

Lincoln Smith, and Maggie Cahalan, 2021: Grafting with Lincoln Smith. CHEARS Invitation, Feb27 2021. (Distributed) [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

Lambright-Davis, Carolyn, Cahalan, and Maggie, 2021: Aug-Sept 2021 Invites to Poetry, Healthy Food, Fall Gardens, CHIO-SQ Seed Orders. August 2021, September 2021 Constant Contact email announcement. (Distributed) [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

Lambright-Davis, C., and M. Cahalan, 2021: Thank You Greenbelt and COVID 19 Update From CHEARS. Greenbelt City Council Meeting, Nov 23 2020. (Presented) [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

Margaret Cahalan, 2021: Three Types of Winter Sowing and Solstice Celebration. December 21 2021. (Accepted) [Abstract] [Full Text (PDF)]

View All Education Publications

November 15, 2022 in Projects

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