Cleveland Elementary class competes in Disney Environmental Challenge project

From left, Brinley Mercer, Brittany White, and Belle Arnold-Hoffman classify leaves in order to make leaf rubbings for a book of facts about the native plants found by our creek and how they affect the creek. Photo/Special.

Laura Brown’s class at Cleveland Elementary School is participating in a Disney Environmental Challenge project. The class is creating a native plant walking trail that informs the public of the role native plants play in keeping small, local creeks clean and how important this is for the Chattahoochee/Flint River Basins.

“We have done experiments, created projects, and Outdoor Station Activity cards to teach people about their local creeks and plants,” Brown said. “We will be planting some native plants Jan. 29 behind Cleveland Elementary School and we will have a ‘Plant Fair’ on Feb. 15 at our school from 9:30 - 11:30 to present our projects.

“This project could win thousands of dollars for our school and have Cleveland Elementary lauded on the Disney website” the teacher of the gifted and talented said. “If we won the grand prize, the whole class could also win a trip to Disneyland. Part of the requirements for this project is that we get the information out to the public.”

In this photo students learn that leaves fall into the creek and provide nutrients for the aquatic life there; as well, the fallen leaves and twigs slow the water, causing more physical contact with a stream channel, which allows sediments to settle out and toxins to soak into the streambed where they can be stored for up to 114 years. All the projects had to tell how plants affect the creek and ultimately our drinking water from the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.

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