Over 200 Pottstown Students Spend 5 Days Immersed in Nature on Chesapeake Bay
Pottstown, PA, November 5, 2018 – Beginning November 5th, more than 200 sixth-grade students and teachers from Pottstown will spend a week splashing and kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay, exploring woods and wetlands, and learning more about nature and themselves.
The trip is the capstone of Powered by Nature, an innovative, three-year program offered in a partnership between Natural Lands, NorthBay – the outdoor education center students will visit – the Pottstown School District, and PECO to encourage exploration in nature, scientific investigation, and character development.
NorthBay is located within Elk Neck State Park along the Chesapeake Bay. The residential experience was created with the purpose of providing an exciting and transformative learning, personal development, and community building opportunity for middle school students. Sixth graders from Pottstown will participate in a nature-centered interactive learning program that will take them from the classroom to the waters of the Chesapeake. Students will have the opportunity to scale an indoor climbing wall or fly through the air on a giant swing. Each day ends with a professionally-produced, interactive theater performance that recaps that day’s lessons. Following their visit to NorthBay, students will design and implement an action project based upon their three-year experience with Powered by Nature.
Launched in fall 2016, Powered by Nature is designed to increase connection to, and understanding of nature among children. The program serves all 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in the Pottstown School District, a critical time for both academic and personal development. The curriculum includes multiple outdoor lessons each year, including exploration of local school yards, visits to nearby streams and parks, and trips to Natural Lands’ Crow’s Nest Preserve.
“This dynamic program is designed to help students appreciate that the choices they make have the power to transform the planet, their community, and themselves,” said Molly Morrison, President of Natural Lands. “Our goal is inspire them to see themselves and the natural world in a new way and we are immensely grateful to the Pottstown School District, Northbay, PECO, the Exelon Foundation, and our other supporters for joining us in this unique collaboration.”
PECO and the Exelon Foundation have provided leadership support for Powered by Nature since its launch. “At PECO, we power programs and initiatives that are helping our youth achieve a well-rounded education and that provide a broad spectrum of opportunity,” said Mike Innocenzo, PECO President and CEO. “We are proud to join Natural Lands and the Pottstown School District to provide this important environmental educational experience for local students.”
“Our students and our parents are so excited about this opportunity to participate, not just in an outdoor field trip, but in a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will help them grow in their understanding of the natural world, as well helping them grow in understanding themselves,” said Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of the Pottstown School District.
“This is an innovative program that includes multiple outdoor education experiences at local parks and preserves, teacher professional learning, and residential outdoor education experiences. The Powered by Nature program connects students to local green spaces and teaches them that the choices they make affect their futures, the people around them and the environment,” said Keith Williams, Executive Director of NorthBay. “We are thrilled to partner with Natural Lands, PECO and the Pottstown School District to provide this opportunity for Pottstown students.”
Funding for Powered by Nature is provided by PECO, the Exelon Foundation, gifts to Natural Lands’ Campaign for Humans and Nature – including from 25th Century Foundation and the McLean Contributionship – J.P. Mascaro and Sons, Dolfinger McMahon Foundation, Louis N. Cassett Foundation, and Charles and Sandra Koenig.
For more information about Powered by Nature visit: https://natlands.org/what-we-do/connecting-people-to-nature/powered-by-nature/
Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands has preserved more than 125,000 acres, including 43 nature preserves totaling more than 23,000 acres. Some 2.5 million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all. natlands.org.
NorthBay is a leading outdoor education and character development program serving more than 14,000 public school students each school year in an innovative residential camp as well as day trips. The NorthBay mission is to challenge middle school students to realize that their attitudes and actions have a lasting impact on their future, the environment and the people around them by using Common Core and Next Generation Science standards, character development, and the outdoors as an integrating context.
PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 516,000 natural gas customers in southeastern, Pennsylvania. The company’s 2,500 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. PECO was named 2017 Best Mid-size Employer in Philadelphia by Forbes Magazine. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.3 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 8,700 local jobs and producing $732 million in labor income. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
Mae Axelrod, Natural Lands
Alexandra Coppadge, PECO