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Learning about Nature for Community Stewardship Day

TC students took part in various Earth Week activities throughout the area.

Sarah Gamble, a park ranger with the National Park Service, walked T.C. Williams International Academy students to the focus areas in Dyke Marsh.

Sarah Gamble, a park ranger with the National Park Service, walked T.C. Williams International Academy students to the focus areas in Dyke Marsh. Photo by Veronica Bruno.

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Jackie Davis, educational specialist with the National Parks Service, met T.C. Williams International Academy students at Dyke Marsh, Belle Haven Marina.

— Approximately 370 students from the new International Academy at T.C. Williams High School took part in Earth Week on Friday, April 25. International Academy students broke into groups across the area to participate in Earth Week activities along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Students were instructed in the planting of native trees, aquatic plant restoration, litter clean-up, boat building, wetland management, water quality testing and boat building.

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Ned Stone, a volunteer with Friends of Dyke Marsh described the differences between native and invasive plants in the area and how to spot them within the marsh for removal and re-planting.

TC partnered with the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, the City of Alexandria's Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Friends of Dyke Marsh, the National Park Service, Earth Sangha, Alexandria City Public Schools and INOVA hospital in the endeavor. In addition, there were many volunteers with the school and affiliated organizations as well as teachers that came out to guide the students in conservation activities.

The International Academy at TC is a two-year program designed to help recent immigrants to the U.S. in the area. This was the school's first Community Stewardship Day field trip.

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Volunteer Fred Huntington led another group of students at Windmill Park in Old Town, Alexandria where he described the condition of the native wetlands and shorelines.

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Alexandria Seaport Foundation educator Sam Weeks instructed the students on the math mechanics and the various parts that go into building a traditional wooden boat.