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Watershed Models to Boost EMU Museum and Bay Education

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How does a watershed work and why does it matter in small towns hundreds of miles from the Chesapeake Bay?

New models and workshops funded by a $5,300 grant will help visitors to Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) Hostetter Museum of Natural History answer those questions.

Jim Yoder, PhD, professor of biology and museum curator said the grant will allow the museum to purchase watershed models, develop a new workshop to raise local awareness and educate area school groups on restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Maureen Gallon, education director at the Hostetter Museum, submitted the grant which will be available this spring.

“One of the most important things our school age students need to understand is that we all live in a watershed, no matter how far away from the ocean or river we live,” said Gallon. “We will be able to provide a dynamic, hands-on learning program for students and teachers that will enhance several Virginia Standards of Learning. Our goal is to reach students and teachers in every school with this new programming.”

The grant is made possible through the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, which procures the funds through the sale of specialized “Friends of the Chesapeake” license plates.

The Discovery Room and Hostetter Museum of Natural History are open to the public 2-5 p.m. Sundays when EMU is in session. School groups (maximum of 75 students), church groups, community organizations or clubs wanting to visit should contact the museum at 540-432-4400 or museum@emu.edu.

About the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund was created by the Virginia General Assembly for use by nonprofit and public agencies for environmental education and restoration projects to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. For each vehicular license plate sold or renewed at a cost of $25, the Department of Motor Vehicles gets $10 and the Chesapeake Restoration Fund receives $15. Thanks to the generosity of Virginia’s citizens, revenues from the purchase of the popular Chesapeake Bay commemorative license plate have continued to grow, resulting in the awarding of $6 million in grants for Chesapeake Bay projects.

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