About 75 student leaders from the Chesapeake Bay watershed states are taking five educational courses through Saturday, sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Area students were among those who took to the Susquehanna River and area farms to learn more about the watershed and the environment.

Emma Stone, a Carlisle High School student, took a canoe paddle trip down the Susquehanna and discovered American Indian carvings on a group of rocks.

“It’s crazy to think they are in Pennsylvania,” Stone said of the petroglyphs. “Usually you think of more exotic places for them, not Pennsylvania.”

Earlier in the day, she and other students visited a Carlisle area farm owned by Denny Garman.

“This whole farm is run by only five people and farmer Denny went out of his way to figure out what he could do to help the farm and the environment,” Stone told the foundation. “And five people run 200 acres. That’s so impressive.”

The students are part of the foundation’s Student Leadership Council and are taking part in the 50 Forward program. The courses encourage students to learn through observation and interviewing experts.

Among the students participating are those from Big Spring High School, Carlisle High School, Cumberland Valley High School, Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School, Northern High School and Shippensburg Area Senior High School.

“We hope that the student leaders feel a deep connection to the world around them and how their choices may impact our environment,” said Emily Thorpe, Student Leadership Council coordinator in Pennsylvania. “I hope that they feel empowered to become leaders in their own schools and communities and share what they are passionate about with others.”

On Monday, the students saw the Garman farm and the petroglyphs on the Susquehanna River between York and Lancaster counties.

On Tuesday, the students traveled to the bay to learn about farming practices.

Saturday’s main event will explore the bay from the foundation’s environmental education center on Port Isobel Island, east of Tangier Island.

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