On Tuesday, our 8th students, science teachers Tim Gore and Susan Benner, and Ben Barrett ‘76 joined together for the BCD annual voyage on the Sloop Clearwater. To honor the life of BCD alumnus Jamie Kapteyn (‘76) and his passion for rivers and conservation, The James C. Kapteyn Endowment for Environmental Studies was created in 2010 by his friends and fellow BCD classmates to fund this rare and relevant environmental educational opportunity.
On their three-hour sail aboard the Clearwater, BCD students helped raise the sails, navigate the boat, and set and haul in fishing nets. They also visited learning stations to examine the day’s catch, perform water quality tests, and study plankton and other vertebrate life under field magnification. The Clearwater trip was augmented with a curriculum-based program to include recitations and improvisation of river-inspired poetry and stories, and a unit on environmental conservation.
“Clearwater was founded by Pete Seeger, legendary musician, singer, songwriter, folklorist, activist, environmentalist, and peace advocate.” The mission of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. is to preserve and protect the Hudson River. Its educational philosophy is that experience-based learning conducted in a natural setting is the best available tool for cultivating awareness and commitment to the health of our rivers, oceans, and watersheds. Their goal is to protect the Hudson River and inspire and energize the next generation of environmental leaders.
Jamie Kapteyn was known by his family, friends, and students as a poet, educator, avid fisherman and ardent conservationist and environmentalist. Jamie passed away in 2007, but his interests are kept alive by the many people who knew and loved him. In 2009, our School community identified “sustainability” as one of its core seven values: “We educate our community about the impact of our actions and behaviors on the environment and instill practices that protect its long-term viability.”