Annual program helps area elementary students engage in environmental science
POLAND SPRING, Maine – As part of Poland Spring ® Natural Spring Water’s commitment to educate the next generation of environmental stewards, the brand is continuing its support of the Trout in the Classroom / Brookie Buddies program. The program, which Poland Spring created in collaboration with the Project WET state coordinator and the Portland Water District, has been providing elementary students in area schools hands-on experience cultivating their own fish habitats and ecosystems since 2007.
Starting in January 2018, approximately 200 students from Poland, Minot, Phillips, Strong, Stratton and Gray-New Gloucester have been growing trout in fish tanks in their classrooms. As part of the curriculum, students learn about the water cycle and monitor trout growth, water quality and pollutants.
"It is amazing to see the continued enthusiasm for this unique program – both from students and their teachers,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Brookie Buddies gets students excited about math, science and our environment in a way that’s different from traditional lesson plans because it brings nature directly to the classroom.”
In May, the program concludes with a trout release at various locations, including one at Waterhouse Brook in Poland on May 2 at 9:30 a.m. Students participating in this release will be joined by Poland Spring staff members as well as the State of Maine Project WET coordinator and environmental educators from The Ecology School.
“Teaching students how to maintain a healthy ecosystem is important if we want future generations to have access to Maine’s natural resources,” said Printup. “I often hear from past participants that they continue practicing the lessons learned in their Brookie Buddies program long after their project ends. That’s good news for Maine’s rivers and streams.”
Since the program began in 2007, more than 2,000 students from 15 schools linked to Poland Spring’s host communities have participated in Brookie Buddies. For more information about Poland Spring’s environmental education programs, visit: http://www.polandspring.com/community.
About Poland Spring
Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The company, a division of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. The Kingfield facility, which officially opened in January 2009, represents an initial $60 million investment and ninety jobs in rural western Maine. In the Spring of 2017, the Kingfield facility added an additional bottling line representing a $25 million investment. Poland Spring maintains eight spring sources across the state: Poland Spring (Poland Spring, ME), Evergreen Spring (Fryeburg, ME), Garden Spring (Poland, ME), White Cedar Spring (Dallas Plantation, ME), Spruce Spring (Pierce Pond Township, ME), Bradbury Spring (Kingfield, ME), Cold Spring (Denmark, ME) and Clear Spring (Hollis, ME).
Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager
Poland Spring Bottling