Cornish Park hosts science lessons

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Rachel Plescha of ShoreRivers showed children how to make seed balls during Saturday in the Park.

CAMBRIDGE — “Put some dirt in your pancake!” Rachel Plescha told a group of children seated around a picnic bench at Cornish Park on Saturday. But never fear, it wasn’t a recipe, at least not for eating.

She was showing young scientists how to create seed balls out of absorbent bits of paper, dirt and the seeds. Little rounds of paper got a pinch of dirt in the middle, a seed in the middle of that, and then it was all pinched together to make a ball.

The balls could be tossed – with parents’ permission of course – just about anywhere, to place a new plant in the local environment.

Ms. Plescha, who works with ShoreRivers, was taking part in “Steam into Summer,” a project organized by Habitat Choptank. While Habitat is known for building houses, this program is designed to build community by reaching out to other organizations and individuals.

And while recent days have been quite steamy, in this case the word refers to “STEM,” or science, technology, engineering and math education.

Children of all ages can be real scientists for the day while testing for water quality or learning how to use a compass in a scavenger hunt,” a statement from both groups said.

The children even used the results of some earlier community service. “Two weeks ago, we did table building,” Tara Felts of Habitat Choptank said, indicating the new picnic benches at which the children were seated.

Jermaine Anderson of Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation was there, lending a hand. He said the “Groove City 4-H Club [based at the Empowerment Center in Cambridge] were the youth who really participated” in building the benches.

All that set up the park as a pleasant spot for the day’s lessons, which also featured oyster shell painting to help spark the children’s interest in the environment. “Our mission is healthier rivers across the Shore,” Suzanne Sullivan of ShoreRivers said.

Habitat have been great partners with us.”
The learning, crafts, snacks and friends added up to a good time. Daryion Stewart was busy with his shells, and said, “It’s a fun activity.”

To learn more about Habitat Choptank and ShoreRivers, visit and

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