Environmental Club Completes Wetland Project

Graciella Arrascue, Staff Writer

The Barnstable High School Environmental Club has recently completed its project to create a wetland. The wetland serves as an intermediary between the Barnstable Intermediate School pond and the Dunn’s pond.
The project was developed by BHS alumni, Devin McDonald. McDonald wanted to “create a habitat that is quickly being destroyed and help increase populations of the animals and plants that can only live in these circumstances,” said club Co-President Kristen Amiott. McDonald also wanted younger students to “be introduced to environmental science at a younger age and potentially discover passions sooner,” said Amiott. Club advisor David Gorrill explained that McDonald worked with club members, Long Pasture Director Ian Ives and Mass Audubon to make this dream a reality. “Devin wanted to build a long term ecosystem for future use by BIS and BHS students and I think it’s mission accomplished,” said Gorrill.
“A wetland is an ecosystem that intermittently is filled with water, and hosts unique water-dependent biodiversity,” said Amiott. The wetland functions as an in between area to ponds. It is a femoral pool, drying up every year and containing only certain organisms. “It’s kind of like land consisting of marshes so it’s got such a diverse and interesting ecosystem,” said club Vice President Asanya Wawlagala.
The Environmental Club wanted to “introduce BIS students to a wetlands environment, which is unique” said Gorrill.
The project was completed on June 6th, 2018. At the beginning of August, Gorrill observed the first standing water; later that week he saw dragonflies and green frogs.
“I think that the creation of the wetland should be a huge inspiration for other schools to start their own ambitious projects and to get more involved with their education,” said Amiott. Amiott hopes that the wetland will be used for middle school students curriculum, “My vision for the future of the wetland is that it keeps attracting and inhabiting endangered species of dragonflies and plant life and one day hopefully salamanders,” said Amiott.
The wetland isn’t the only project the club has been working on, recently members participated in a beach cleanup. The club “Helps run the composter in the main cafeteria, participates in water testing at local ponds with the Water Department, and are looking forward to a Green Energy Fair” said Amiott. Also, this upcoming year the environmental club is trying to do collaborate with the Mass Audubon and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, said Wawlagala.