CHEARS Projects

Below is a list of our active projects.

CHEARS projects are conceived, developed and implemented by volunteers.

Jump to current CHEARS projects and/or contact their participants by selecting a link below.


Project Icon   CHESTORYCenter for the Chesapeake Story
  Project Homepage//www.chears.org/chestory
  Project Coordinator — Joan Clement

Chestory was founded in 1999 by Sara Leeland and the late Tom Wisner, Maryland's first environmental educator who was often known as "the Bard of the Chesapeake". CHESTORY's purpose is to bring the artist in each of us to "express our role in the ongoing story of Chesapeake life and culture; and creating resources for all who want to bring their communities into deeper relationship to the Chesapeake river lands." In January, 2010, CHESTORY was adopted by CHEARS to carry on Tom Wisner's legacy. In April, 2010, Tom Wisner passed away, leaving a wealth and variety of creative expressions of his love of the Chesapeake. His wish was that his gifts be shared widely and that other artists being encouraged as well.
CHESTORY's current projects include:


  • Selling Tom's last two CDs "Made of Water" and "Follow on the Water" (a double CD), and CDs of other local environmental artists, via the CHESTORY website

  • Selling a book of Tom's poetry, art and other writings called "Gather Round Chesapeake - Tom Wisner's Vision", edited by Sara Leeland and published in 2011, and the children's book Bay Babies by Cathy Green and illustrated by the late Mary Beth Harry (proceeds go to the Mary Beth Scholarship Fund sponsored by the Calvert County Arts Council)

  • Creating the Center for the Chesapeake Story Collection and Chestory Virtual Archive, a virtual archive of regional story and song found on the Chesapeake Environmental Literacy website, co-sponsored by and located at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, MD

  • Publishing a songbook and accompanying CD called "Singing the Chesapeake." This will be completed in 2012 and will include music for children, written and sung by Tom, Teresa Whitaker and Tom's son, Mark Wisner

  • Creating an art exhibit featuring Tom's art work and collages by the children Tom taught called: "The Art of Healing the Chesapeake: A Tribute to Tom Wisner" which is permanently on display at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center on the Severn River in Millersville, MD

  • Sponsoring concerts and workshops and other events to bring Tom's vision, and the vision of so many other artists, educators and advocates, to those who love the Chesapeake Bay and Bioregion.



We think that art, song, and story can help us connect with the deep spiritual experience of the Chesapeake chapter in the on-going story of the Universe. Join us! For further information, contact Joan Clement



 


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Project Icon   CCCCSCheasapeake Countdown Climate Citizen Science
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gardens/chesapeakeclimatecoundowncitizenscience/
  Project Coordinator — Maggie Cahalan

Countdown Citizen Science Modeling and Measuring Stream, Soil, and Person Health in the Great Transition to a Fair and Healthy Food System:
Reconnecting to Our Food and Water with Heritage Seeds and Tree Crops


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) has been awarded a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) for a Community Engagement Mini-Grant. 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 requested 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.


    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   CHELChesapeake Environmental Literacy
  Project Homepage//chears.org/environmentalliteracy/
  Project Coordinator — Joan Clement

The Center for the Chesapeake Story: Chesapeake Environmental Literacy aims to foster a generation of people who are more connected with the environment by combing science and the arts in fun, informative ways. Workshops are customized and tailored upon request, and our website contains a variety of resources. Training workshops are also available for educators who are interested in what Environmental Literacy means to them. Click above to visit our website for more information.



    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   CHIO-SQChesapeake Intergenerational Open Seed Quest (CHIO-SQ)
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gardens/chesapeake-intergenerational-open-seed-quest-chio-sq-2/
  Project Coordinator — Maggie Cahalan

To foster the health and food security of the Greenbelt community, this project of the Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS) is to support the development and implementation of a series of intergenerational hands on educational workshops, and the piloting of citizen science accessible open seed trials in the Three Sisters Gardens and Food Forest. This project, with a focus on Greenbelt is part of a larger pilot initiative of CHEARS to pilot seed exchange libraries in the Chesapeake Watershed region. The project will be designed to foster community engagement and interest in fostering the diversity of local open organic heirloom seeds planted for food security and working for climate change mitigation. The project will have a focus on the history of the local Coastal Plain and Piedmont bioregion’s food heritage. We are calling this project “Chesapeake Open Seed Quest-Greenbelt Intergenerational.” CHEARS is hoping that the workshops and seed saving citizen science trials conducted in Greenbelt and in a sister project in Heathcote Community in a rural area north of Baltimore will serve as a model for development of other seed saving exchanges in the Chesapeake watershed. The project has a special outreach to underserved youth and to senior citizens and persons with disabilities and a goal of supporting urban-agriculture and also fostering rural-urban linkages. The project has a long term goal of establishing a local heritage open organic seed exchange library in Greenbelt and longer term throughout the watershed


 
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Project Icon   Home Salons/PartiesFilms, Community discussions & Good Chear Parties
  Project HomepageUnknown
  Project Coordinator — Eugenia Kalnay

Since its start in 2006, CHEARS has been involved in organizing community building and informational events through films, discussions and parties. Some of these are organized as potlucks with film or shared activities such as the annual Solstice party with a mindful walk and fire circle.


    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   GCANGreenbelt Climate Action Network
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gcan
  Project Coordinator — Lore Rosenthal

GCAN's mission is to educate residents about climate change, how they can change their behavior and take political action. From September to June monthly meetings are held at the Greenbelt Community Center on the Second Wednesday of the month.


    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   The Green ManGreenman Annual Festival in Greenbelt
  Project Homepage//www.greenmanfestival.org
  Project Coordinator — Richard McMullin

The Green Man Festival in Greenbelt started in May of 2005. It has been held on Mother's Day Weekend for the last seven years.

The Green Man came to life in many cultures from the shadowy, forested world of early man. He made his way through the ages in folklore, songs, stone carvings in cathedrals and art in humble cottages. The Green Man is known to many as the Spirit of the Natural World, but takes on many different roles. Today, he is the unofficial voice for the environment.

This festival brings the Green Man into the present where he returns to remind us that while concern for our environment is important, it's only a beginning until followed with personal action. Visitors have a chance to speak with others with shared values, contribute some ideas, listen to the music, and learn what others are doing to help locally restore the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and globally, our Mother Earth.



    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   HEYCOHealthy Eco-Yards Co-op
  Project HomepageUnknown
  Project Coordinator — Maggie Cahalan

Healthy Eco Yards Cooperative (HEYCO!)
A Hybrid�Consumer-Worker-Research Co-operative

Creating a New Greenbelt Co-op to Support Healthy Food for All Critters (humans and wildlife) in an Era of Climate Change. We want to create landscapes which are beautiful to live in, that provide wildlife habitat, provide a community food harvest, and which reduce in a measured way polluted run-off into our water ways!

HEYCO is a new hybrid-worker-consumer-research co-op that CHEARS non-profit is incubating. HEYCO has a Public Benefit Mission consistent with CHEARS mission. The mission is to promote the health of all life in the Watershed through implementation of Chesapeake Bay Program Best Management Practices (BMP) in residences, businesses and public lands in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. A HEYCO goal is to support community empowerment through landscape and promote community through fostering Community Food Growing Hubs.

Green Job Creation. We also seek to support the creation of Green Job Entrepreneurship Small Business Opportunities for:
�Accredited Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Certified and NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals
---Health & Wellbeing Coaches who wish to have a focus on outdoor gardening and nature activities
---Student Research and Internship Programs
---Senior Citizens interested in creative environmental problem solving activities, research, artistic expression, and physical outdoor and indoor part-time work opportunities

The major services HEYCO will offer are:
----Permaculture and Organic Land Care design consultation for business, apartment or condo, or private residence
---Discounted HEYCO Greenbelt Locally Nurtured Native and Edible Plants
---Garden construction services (square foot boxes, balcony vertical boxes, rock gardens)
---Co-operative work exchange & support for design, implementation, and maintenance of your artistic-edible estate (Garden �Raising� Events)
---Action Research Projects and Collective Impact Projects on reducing polluted run-off into our waters and adapting and mitigating Climate Change, and promoting more healthy life style choices
----Healthy life style support and coaching
----Targeted consultation and support for implementing Chesapeake Bay Watershed Best Management Practices, and PG County Rain Check Program Support including support for rain barrel installation, Green Roofs, pervious pavement installation, on-site composting and soil building, pesticide and synthetic fertilizer elimination, organic land care practices, rain gardens)


    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   PASA Alley CroppingImplementing Two Drawdown Climate Solutions at Many Streams Farm: Tree Intercropping/Alley Cropping and Plant Based Diet
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gardens/pasa-alley-cropping-demonstration/
  Project Coordinator — Maggie Cahalan

This CHEARS citizen science urban-rural linkages project, has a goal to implement, model, and measure, the potential and actual impact of two Project Drawdown solutions: Tree Intercropping/alley cropping and fostering a Plant Based Diet. The Partners in the project are: School of Living Heathcote Education Center/Oberon Farm, Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance, and Forested. The project is being designed as part of a Pennsylvania Society for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) project to demonstrate alley cropping in 3 PA farms.


    There are no links for this project right now.
 
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Project Icon   StoneSoupMusic and more celebrating the Chesapeake
  Project Homepage//chears.org/stonesoup
  Project Coordinator — Richard McMullin

On Fall 2012, CHEARS sponsored the 8th Annual Harvest Festival in Greenbelt Center, that included music, arts and crafts, white elephants, fairy gardens and a visit to the Community Center site of one of the 3 Sisters Gardens, where we helped "put the garden to bed" for the winter.



    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   Earth SquadSpringhill Lake Earth Squad
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gardens/earth-squad/
  Project Coordinator — Carolyn Lambright-Davis

The Earth Squad is a co-learning tutoring and mentoring project that practices stewardship for the Three Sisters Gardens and Food Forest. The project was begun in 2015 and after school sessions are held at the Springhill Lake Recreation Center and in the Gardens. In fall 2021, the Earth Squad began meeting 3 days a week (Mon. Wed. and Friday) in the Springhill Lake Recreation Center and in the Three Sisters Gardens and Food Forest outdoor classroom. In Winter 2022, the Earth Squad will meet as allowed in co-ordination with Greenbelt City requirements.


    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   Three Sisters Gardens & Food Forest
  Project Homepage//chears.org/gardens/three-sisters-gardens-and-food-forest/
  Project Coordinator — Carolyn Lambright-Davis

On a per acre basis, urban runoff contributes twice the excess nutrient and toxic load to the Bay that agrcultural areas contribute. Aided by Permaculture principles a CHEARS strategic objective is to significantly reduce urban and suburban run off by changing our dominant monoculture lawn-based form of landscaping.

In 2010 CHEARS was awarded a $1500 grant from the Greenbelt Community Foundation for the Three Sisters Demonstration Garden project. The grant was matched by CHEARS funds and was used to hold educational workshops on Chesapeake Bay friendly home edible and native plant land care practices; and to support the purchase of fruit and nut trees and the establishing of demonstration gardens in each of the three major geographic areas of Greenbelt (center, east and west). CHEARS also hopes to do some fun raising with the gardens!!

CHEARS has established outdoor classroom gardens that are multi-generational, handicapped accessible. The gardens provide an opportunity for combining gardening with artistic expression and co-learning about sustainable landscaping. Urban runoff contributes unhealthy excess nutrient and toxic load to the Bay.


Contact Maggie@chears.org

The Greenbelt City Council has approved space on City property to be set aside for demonstration gardens, but their success will depend upon how much interest there is in creating and maintaining them. Please join us for events to make this happen.

Contact Maggie!
Click HERE to see a power point presentation on Three Sisters Garden goals and plans. As presentation is long it will take a few minutes to load.



    There are no links for this project right now.
 


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Project Icon   FlowsWater Quality Tracing
  Project Homepage//chears.org/flows
  Project Coordinator — Robert Cahalan

Place Based Education and Research


  • Follow the water from a spring near the Eastern Divide in Pennsylvania as it joins Bobs Creek, then observe its transformations as it joins successively Dunnings Creek, Juniata River, Susquehanna River, Cheseapeake Bay.

  • Study Lago Atitlán in Guatemala in a collaboration with scientists there. Central American watersheds are linked to the Chesapeake through migration and climate change.





  • Chears map of watershed flow sites - Chears google-map of calibration sites for the Chesapeake Bay Program's Phase 5 watershed model. Sites are identified by selecting any of the markers. Double-clicking any point re-centers the map, and users can zoom in using normal google-map controls.
 


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Updated:
November 15, 2022 in Projects

EarthCharter | CWP | CBP
Site Maintained By: Robert Cahalan
CHEARS is an all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit.

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