Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saving our Coast, one student at a time

For the past couple days, I chaperoned 24 sixth graders from our school in Grand Isle, LA. Over the last school year, the 6th grade class was charged with growing and maintaining numerous cells of coastal grasses, bitter panicum. With 3 other chaperones, we headed to Grand Isle State Park at the end of Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island to plant our seedlings.


The Coastal Roots school program is run through Louisiana State University. Students from 3rd grade through high school across our state take part in this project by establishing plant nurseries at school. Students grow native plant seedlings that are planted in a coastal restoration project in south LA.





Students dug, planted, and positioned over 600 bitter panicum seedlings. Our students spent over 2 1/2 hours “saving our coast”.



After planting and eating lunch at the State Park, we visited Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Marine Lab located on the island. Students learned first hand some of the many projects that biologists and scientists were working on to help the marine life of our often fragile coast.





We then ventured to a school board member’s camp on the beach where we all spent a fun afternoon and evening.

The students swam, played games, and simply had 6th grade fun. We ended our night with a fire and roasting of marshmallows.






The next morning, we were all treated to a great pancake breakfast, more swimming, packing up, and heading out by noon.



After spending the past two days with 24 sixth graders, I just had an excellent, much anticipated night’s sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!

Saving the coast, y’all!


  1. What an awesome field trip! A great service, an educational experience, and a lot of fun at the same time! I love it!

    As far as spending two days with 6th graders, you are my hero and definitely have a earned your wings! Welcome home, Ron!

  2. This awesome, Ron! I know those students learned much about our fragile coastline and measures that they can take to preserve it. You are such a role model to those young girls and boys and an inspiration. I'm so glad that they have you and you decided to go back into teaching. That is what you were born to do--and you get to wear your white lab coat after all! ;)

  3. Thanks! I know that the students will remember their trip to GI forever just as I remember my St. Genevieve trips to Grand Coteau (with Mrs. Miller) and Percy Quinn (with Liz Ledet Hayes).

  4. Wow! You win as best teacher ever in my book. These kids will never forget this trip and what they learned from it. Keep up the good work, these kids need you. I wish I could send by grandkids to your school.

  5. I have sooo much trouble trying to visualize you on the beach without a cocktail in hand.


  6. There is nothing more precious (to me) than our gulf coast. Our family has been vacationing there for several years and we just love wonderful that you are teaching your students to be good caregivers of the coast....


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