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Heartwood students want you to save water

From a Letter to the Editor in the Newburyport Daily News

Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash
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From the Newburyport Daily News.

To the editor:

This letter is from the Pre-K/K class at Heartwood Nature School at Maple Crest Farm in West Newbury.

Being so close to the Artichoke Reservoir and the farmland and forest at Maple Crest, the children have taken a keen interest in nature and its cycles, but particularly that of water. The severe drought last year was apparent in so many ways and very noticeable by the children over the course of our school year, both in the depth of the reservoir at the end of last summer and the lack of strawberries Farmer John (Elwell) has this year, for example.

These students have taken it upon themselves to learn about water, the water cycle, weather patterns, and the consequences of drought. In their own daily lives and in the farming we do as a school community, the children have learned about ways to conserve water and wanted me to share their ideas with the broader Essex County community.

Their words follow: Drought is when we don’t get enough rain to make the plants healthy. It’s bad for animals and people, too, and especially farmers. When we don’t get rain, the ground is really dry and fires can start easily like last year when the forest fire happened near the farm (in South Street Woodlots Greenbelt land).

Please don’t leave fires unattended. Please don’t waste water. If you need to water your plants please do it in the morning and only on the roots. You can use a drip hose like Farmer John does and the water goes only on the roots. The roots are what needs the water most and how the plant drinks it up. If you water in the middle of the day, it will evaporate.

Evaporation means that the water turns into mist and goes into the sky and not the plants. You should take short showers. Please turn off the water when you brush your teeth, wash your hands, or when you wash dishes. If you are throwing out old water from your water bottle or a cup, don’t throw it down the drain, use it to water your plants.

MARTHA BURKE Director & PreK/K teacher Heartwood Nature School West Newbury

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Martha Burke

The Founder, owner, and director of Heartwood Nature School, Martha became a committed environmentalist in her early years, spending time outdoors whenever possible. During early career years, she expanded her breadth of knowledge about the world, the environment, and wrote for several sections of the newspaper on various topics as well as a few magazines.

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