Bessie Weller Elementary student release Brook Trout at Gypsy Hill Park

Dwight Huyard’s (pictured, far left) 4th-grade class spent about six months raising and studying Brook Trout in their Bessie Weller Elementary School classroom. A few days ago, they said good-bye, releasing the brown-speckled swimmers into Lewis Creek in the center of Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. The project — which drew together resources from Mary Baldwin University, Dominion Virginia Power, Trout Unlimited, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — culminated in an ecosystem study, nature journaling, life cycle lessons, and the release of the fish at the park for all 4th-grade Bessie Weller students. Mary Baldwin Teacher-in-Residence Betty Gatewood worked with Huyard throughout the project, extending the reach of the college’s Environment-Based Learning program.