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Science Project Tackles Invasive Species Growth

Science Project Tackles Invasive Species Growth



A partnership with First Ring First Fellowship (FRFF) program and the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District led to Lakewood High science teachers Rita Chahda and Ann Pesta and their AP Environmental Science and biology students to remove a large amount of the invasive vegetation last week from the high school grounds.

The FRFF program provides first-ring science teachers in Cuyahoga County with free resources and professional development that creates place-based watershed projects with our students. Chadha and Pesta are obtaining knowledge and tools to introduce our students to Great Lakes literacy and watershed restoration concepts through meaningful watershed experiences implemented in their classrooms. This partnership led to a survey of the grounds at Lakewood High, where a hot spot of an invasive plant species was discovered in the stormwater basin behind the softball field in the North Lot.

The students removed the vegetation on Nov. 29 and will return in May to remove the rest of the vegetation and reseed with a native wildflower mix and plant native plants decided upon through their own research.

The real-life hands-on project is a great example of our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate in action, taking communication, collaboration and a global citizen outlook. Many in our greater community collaborated on the project. The City of Lakewood provided a driver and truck to help remove all the vegetation pulled out. LHS custodians helped remove the filled bags as well. The project wouldn’t have happened without Jacki Zevenbergen, Stormwater Education Program Manager at Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District. More importantly, our LHS AP Environmental and Biology students got down and dirty and did all the hard work!