CBF Calls for Volunteers to Grow Underwater Grasses at Home

It may be the only time you can grow “grass” in your house without getting arrested.

Grasses grown by volunteers are then planted in the water.    Photo: Blair Blanchette/CBF Staff

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is looking for volunteers to grow underwater grasses in trays that are submerged in tubs indoors. It’s all part of the foundation’s Grasses for the Masses program. Volunteers will receive seeds, then “raise” their grass sprouts at home until late spring, when they are mature enough to be planted on protected sites in the James, Rappahannock, Chickahominy, and Potomac Rivers.

The wild celery grasses are submerged plants that play an important role in the ecosystem of the Bay and its tributaries. CBF says the grasses planted in Bay tributaries through the Grasses for the Masses program are already making a real difference.

“Beautiful and easy to grow, underwater grasses are a vital part of the Bay’s ecosystem. They provide habitat for crabs and fish, filter polluted runoff, protect shorelines, oxygenate the water, and mitigate climate change,” said CBF Virginia Grassroots Coordinator Blair Blanchette.

Anyone can grow the grasses indoors, but volunteers must attend a workshop in Richmond, Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, or Williamsburg.

These wild celery grasses are submerged plants that play an important role in local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, but have been seriously depleted over the years by pollution and cloudy water. To participate, volunteers must register to attend one of several upcoming workshops in Richmond, Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, and Williamsburg.

Advance registration is required. Here is the list of workshop times and locations:

  • In the Richmond area, on Jan. 30 and Feb. 3 at the REI store in Glen Allen and on Feb. 3 at CBF’s downtown Richmond office;
  • In Northern Virginia, on Jan 25 and Jan 27 at the Fairlington Community Center in Arlington and on Feb. 3 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria;
  • In Fredericksburg, on Jan. 27 at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, and;
  • In Williamsburg on Jan. 28 at the James City County Recreation Center.

There is a $40 fee for each grass growing kit, which includes a one-year membership to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Each participant will receive a self-contained indoor growing kid, seeds, and instructions. To learn more, click here.