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Black Hill Partnership Blog

In the fall of 2015, Barnesville embarked on a school-wide partnership with Black Hill Regional Park to enhance outdoor and environmental education across the School’s curriculum. This blog chronicles related programs and activities.

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Barnesville School 7th Graders Learn Waterfowl Carving Techniques From Local Expert

Gary Stenger, a local wildfowl wood-carving specialist, is back for a third year to work with Barnesville students to create bird silhouettes for the Annual Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition and Art Festival.

Seventh graders are learning carving techniques from Mr. Stenger. Using dremel sanders and other tools, students are creating feather grooving texture on wooden bird silhouettes. Later they will add details with paint. Photos can be viewed on Facebook.

Mr. Stenger was introduced to Barnesville through the School's partnership with Black Hill Regional Park. This year he is working with 7th and 4th graders.

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Barnesville 8th Graders Make Nature Journals for Field Observation at Black Hill Regional Park

While visiting Black Hill Regional Park, Barnesville eighth graders were introduced to a variety of different types of nature journals. They were given options to create their own, using materials like paper bags to make the covers. Some students decorated them using simple watercolor paints. Others created a tie dye effect using shaving cream and food coloring. (NOTE: Here's a link with instructions how to make your own tie dye stationary).

After creating their journals, they went outside to do a field observation. They sat near the edge of Little Seneca Lake (a reservoir that is part of the Montgomery County, Maryland Parks system) to listen, observe, record, sketch, and write.

Later, students went back to the Nature Center and some students shared their observations and journal entries.

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5th & 6th Grade Explore What it Means to be Part of a Watershed

Naturalists from Black Hill came to Barnesville to talk with 5th and 6th graders about what a watershed is, explaining that our campus is a small part of the very large Chesapeake Bay watershed. Students went outside and walked our property, identifying how and where water travels when it rains. They checked their hypotheses with a satellite view of the campus.

We also did an activity where students learned about different water pollutants and how they affect Ph. While reading a narrative about the last 500 years, students added pollutant simulators to water taken from our tap and measured the Ph before and after.

The next day, we went to Black Hill where we talked about how the lake was formed. We learned that it serves as an emergency water reserve for the water treatment center. We again looked at a satellite map and could see differences in water quality in areas where the park meets the shoreline versus where there is a lot of development around the shoreline.

Using the polluted water from the previous day, students broke into groups and used a variety of filtering systems to try and clean the water.

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An independent private school in
Montgomery County, Maryland
offering innovative preschool
through 8th grade programs.

Barnesville School

21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838

p: 301.972.0341
f: 301.972.4076


We offer a vigorous academic program for students as well as engaging, hands-on learning experiences.


Our positive, supportive learning environment promotes imagination, exploration, personal growth, and achievement.

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