Environmental Education at Its Best

There must be nothing cooler than seeing an idea go from a doodle on paper to a sucessful finished product. So I would imagine that when Uva Professor Phoebe Crisman and her team of architecture students cut the ribbon to their brand new Learning Barge in 2009, there were no words to describe their feelings.

barge3

The project started in 2005 after Professor Crisman participated in a cleanup project on the Elizabeth River, located in Southeast Virginia along the Hampton Roads Harbor. The Elizabeth River has been home to naval and industrial uses since World War 1, and is consequently one of the most polluted rivers on the Chesapeake Bay. This fact fueled the barge’s design, which is an emblem of sustainability. It it completely off the grid- generating its own power and collecting its own water and treating it onboard.

The learning barge is essentially a floating classroom, bringing in students of all ages every day to learn about wetlands, restoration, and environmental stewardship in interactive, hands-on exhibits. The barge serves as a great experience for adults and children, allowing them to learn about a natural estuarine environment while floating through an area of high industrialized activity and urbanization. It is a model of education beyond textbooks and monitors, teaching important lessons about the impacts of water pollution on the Chesapeake Bay and the importance of sustainable technologies. This project proves that visions really can come true, it just takes some real passion a great leader. Kudos to the Elizabeth River Project and its sponsors for collaborating with such gifted UVa minds!

barge4

barge2

 

 

http://www.arch.virginia.edu/learningbarge/index.html

http://news.virginia.edu/content/learning-barge-christened-portsmouth

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s