The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

PHWS Projects 2013

Capon Bridge Middle School, WV

Capon Bridge Middle School Rain Garden, Tree Planting, Native Grasses

April 19-May 21, 2013

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Environmental Club members along with lead teacher, Linda Mowery, conducted a multi-day project at the Middle School this spring.
 On Friday, April 19 the 8th grade science class learned the “Benefits of Trees” led by CI’s Outreach Coordinator, Molly Barkman. This fun and interactive presentation had students thinking and reviewing parts of a tree, photosynthesis and carbon sequestering, energy savings, and aesthetic values of trees. This educational lesson was in preparation for a tree planting on April 24.
The Environmental Club along with the help from other clubs planted 14 trees around the school. A hill behind the school was experiencing some erosion.
Students from grades 6th- 8th worked together to plant the trees. Participating students were given a demonstration on the proper way to plant a tree lead by CI’s Urban Forestry Coordinator, Tanner Haid. Students were able to identify the root collar to ensure the tree was not planted too deep into the ground causing the roots to rot and the tree to die.  

The 57 participating students broke up into smaller groups. Each group member played an active role in the planting. One group of 4 boys had the honors of mulching all of the 14 newly planted trees. They were able to mulch the trees with great precision.  Watering the trees was the final step in the process.   Following the tree planting, Linda Mowery’s science classes grew native grass seed in the classroom. The 48 classroom grown native grasses were planted behind the school to help to further reduce erosion coupled with the tree planting.
Planting Day 2 took place on May 21. On this day 22 students worked to install a 40 square foot rain garden in the front of the school along with planting the native grasses behind the school. Both spaces were prepped the morning of planting. The rain garden was constructed used a tiller and the soil was amended with sand to increase the porosity and encourage greater infiltration of water.  The native grass space was tilled to loosen the soil for planting. Students planted 48 native plants in the rain garden. Some plants that were planted in the rain garden include; black-eyed susans, monkey flower, blue flag, boneset, and a button bush.
Students had a great time being outdoors on a beautiful day at the end of the school year. While some club members will be moving on to the high school next year they will leave behind projects that will be cared for by the remaining and new club members