On Saturday, June 22 Masonville Cove was flooded with volunteers, eager to lend a hand in the restoration of this Baltimore City wilderness area.
A total of 71 people shared their time and talents to help clean-up debris along the shoreline, plant 4,000 native wetland grasses, and install 10 bird boxes. For many volunteers this was the first visit to Masonville Cove, and they were excited to learn about the wonderful local outdoor opportunities that this site has to offer.
There was at least one energized return visitor – Congressman John Sarbanes of Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District. Rep. Sarbanes was at Masonville Cove for its grand opening celebration in October of 2012, and he jumped at the chance to check-in and see how the center has evolved! Saturday's event was also a great opportunity for Rep. Sarbanes to speak about the importance of the No Child Left Inside Act. This act aims to increase environmental education and environmental literacy standards nationwide.
“It would provide some federal funding through the Department of Education to support, at the grassroots level, getting our kids outdoors; connecting the educational instruction that they get to the environment, to the outdoors. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help support student achievement by using the environment and the way the environment brings kids’ interest alive - when they’re outdoors it makes a huge difference,” Sarbanes said.
The National Aquarium is part of the nationwide No Child Left Inside Coalition as an official supporter of the NCLI Act. “For over thirty years the National Aquarium has been inspiring thousands of children each year, helping them see their connection to the aquatic world and how they can help,” said Joe Harber, Director of Education Programs, “Environmental literacy is critical to a child’s education and preparing them for the 21st century.”
We agree with Sarbanes’ sentiment that “By connecting young people to the bay, you’re making them into stewards of the environment.” The National Aquarium is looking forward to opportunities to connect all generations of stewards to the bay through restoration events at Masonville Cove and throughout the watershed. We hope to see you out there!