My name is Isa Grimes and I am an 11th grade student at Boys’ Latin Charter School in Philly. This past year, I had the opportunity to be selected to participate as a steward in the Phila. Watershed Program. I was interested in learning more about the environment and of course about nature, and was also honestly excited about the opportunity to earn a stipend while doing something I enjoyed - It certainly added a little more excitement to some already amazing experiences. I didn’t really know what to expect starting out, but soon learned that we would be learning more about the ecosystem, the environment and what we need to do to save it, as well as learning to identify native trees, shrubs flowers and plants…. And to hike across some cool streams right in the heart of the city. I think that surprised a lot of the participants. The coolest part for me though was always the wildlife, and the insects and stuff of the wooded areas and parks we would explore. There were tons of bugs, and my brother and I had a low-key competition on who could identify the most reptiles, birds and small animals we saw out on the walks. I really enjoyed sharing what our experiences were with the community, and our families at the end of the school year part; the program really captured us doing some amazing things in the picture slide show…especially catching fish at Bartram’s Gardens. You can learn a lot from reading about the environment and the ecosystems, but learning while you’re right there in it is 100x’s better and really makes a better impact on wanting to preserve it. I really enjoyed this experience.