Thursday, June 9 was not just any day for the 109 students at Edna Drinkwater School in Northport. Their teachers, together with 10 community volunteers from the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and Penobscot Bay Stewards Program, staged an all-day Earth Day for the entire school.

Students rotated in groups of 16 through seven outdoor stations on the campus. Each rotation group held a cross-section of students from each grade, with older students helping younger ones learn. The idea of loving and becoming good stewards of the Earth was one of the guiding principles.

Some of the stations they visited, for 30 minutes at a time, included planting the vegetable garden, exploring a tide pool and mud flat, habitat exploration in woods and brook, ecology games led by fifth graders, a soil dig and study, outdoor art, and building an outdoor classroom.

Students also made pottery and sculptures from blue clay they dug on the shore while they learned its glacial history. In the intertidal zone, they examined crabs, blood worms, periwinkles, seaweed, rocks, and clams. With hand lenses, they looked at soil-making creatures and wrote poetry about them. They turned up rocks and found earthworms, salamanders and insects. They enacted animal and plant species while playing games.

The day culminated with a student body gathering on the lawn for the planting of a maple tree, and group singing about trees and nature.

The Edna Drinkwater School is ideally located for a four-season outdoor education center. It is the only school in RSU 20 located by the seaside, with a long shoreline, extensive mud flats, tidal pools, a small salt marsh, a mature conifer and hardwood forest, a cattail bog, and a brook of falls and pools. The school’s leadership sees the school grounds as potential for becoming a Seaside Education Center for RSU #20.