What? A talking tree?
Did you know that trees have a story to tell? Click here to find out what a tree would say if it could talk to you. And find a coloring page at this link to create your own artwork of a talking tree.
At far right, the Montgomery County champion American elm, which measures 19 feet in circumference. This is a tree with a long life and a lot of stories to tell.
- Montgomery County, Maryland covers 316,800 acres directly to the north of Washington, D.C.
- About 29% of the county is forested. Most of our forests are in the Up County or north end of the county.
- Montgomery County has over 400 beautiful parks. These are great places for us to play and get exercise. Almost everyone who lives in Montgomery County lives within walking distance from a park.
- About 1/3 of Montgomery County is set aside just for agricultural use. The county “Agricultural Reserve” is 93,000 acres of land. It is known as “rural.”
- Parts of the county closer to Washington, D.C. are known as “urban” areas. Urban areas have more buildings and concrete and fewer trees. Urban places are more like small cities.
- There are 577 farms in Montgomery County and 350 businesses that do horticulture. Together, these industries produce more than $251 million dollars’ worth of products. Hooray! We get to grow a lot of our own food in Montgomery County.
- Montgomery County has a very cool Recycling Center and a Transfer Station in Derwood, MD. This is where you take all kinds of things to recycle that you can’t put into your blue recycling bins at home. In just one year, the county recycling center can take in almost 100,000 tons of recycled items and paper.
- A watershed is an area from which the water above and below the ground drains to a particular stream, river, lake, bay, or ocean. Montgomery County is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Our streams and creeks all flow into to other water bodies which then flow into the Chesapeake Bay.
- Watersheds affect how well we can live in our communities. We use them for boating, catching fish, having picnics by the water, or just taking off our shoes and wading in creeks and streams in the summer.
- The Chesapeake Bay is very beautiful and special. It is the nation’s largest estuary. An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more riversor streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.
- The Chesapeake Bay needs help! It has become very polluted over the years. If we pollute our water in Montgomery County, then it drains to the Anacostia River and Potomac River. Then those rivers drain to the Chesapeake Bay. If we keep our streams and creeks clean in Montgomery County, we can do our part to help save the Bay. Can you find the Chesapeake Bay on a map and then trace the streams and rivers on the map that lead to it from our county?
- There are days when the air quality is not so good in Montgomery County. When the air is bad and polluted, our health can suffer. Polluted air can make you cough. It can make someone with asthma really sick.
- When the air quality is good and the air seems clear, it is great to get outdoors! It makes us healthier and stronger when we play outdoors in the fresh air.
- Montgomery County is in what is called a “non-attainment” zone along with other counties around us, in Virginia nearby and Washington, D.C. This means our air quality is not at a healthy level.
- In Montgomery County Public Schools, kids in the 6th grade get to go to a big school sleepover called “Outdoor Education” or “Outdoor Ed.” It is a great time to get outside with teachers and friends from school and learn more about the environment.
Nurturing nature. At right, Sligo Middle School student Julia Madsen puts a screen around a young cedar tree in the Reddy Branch Stream Park. Madsen was among a group of students who put screens around 60 trees in spring of 2011 to protect them from deer damage while they grow. The project was sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission and WSSC.
Michael, Michael, go recycle!
Planet Pals games:
EPA Environmental Kids’ Club:
Kids’ Club Question Page:
Puffy the Puffer:
National Wildlife Federation “Ranger Rick” and more:
- National Environmental Education Foundation Classroom Earth Program: www.neefusa.org
- Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators: www.maeoe.org
- Earth Force: www.earthforce.org
- Alliance for Climate Education (for high school students to educate them about climate change and actions they can take.) www.acespace.org
- GreenKids, Audubon Naturalist Society. This is a partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools to integrate environmental education in the school curriculum: http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/default.asp?page
- Our Earth: www.ourearth.org
Learning about stream conditions at the Smith Environmental Center in Montgomery County
Remember to check www.ConservationMontgomery.org regularly to find new information that will help us live better in Montgomery County.