The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

PHWS Projects 2013

Mill Creek Intermediate School, WV

Mill Creek Intermediate – Inwood, WV

April 2013

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Two 5th grade classes at Mill Creek Intermediate School installed at rain garden on the school grounds. Lead teachers, Kelly Rutherford and Emilie Gosnell, worked with 4 Musselman High School W.E.T Club (Watershed Enhancement Team) Members on providing background information about watersheds and non-point source pollution. The high school students used Cacapon Institute’s Potomac Highlands Watershed School (eSchool) and an enviroscape in a day long educational experience. An envrioscape depicts how pollutants from urban and agricultural sources travel over the land and end in water systems. By understanding sources of pollution and various forms students began to understand how every person has an impact river health.

On April 10 and 11 the 48 students from Kelly Rutherford and Emilie Gosnell’s classes worked to plant 72 native plant species in a 120 square foot rain garden.
During a short educational review prior to planting students reviewed concepts they learned from the high school students. The rain garden is located downhill to a gas refill station for the school buses.  

Students can directly see how if gas were spilled it would travel over the pavement and enter the rain garden. The water can then be cleaned by the native plants and the water will not be able to pollute a nearby stream.


On May 23, CI’s Outreach Coordinator, Molly Barkman, returned to the intermediate school to provide a wrap up lesson for the 2 classes. Students participated in a lesson on pollution and how it can travel through the watershed and get in the river system, eventually ending in the Chesapeake Bay. Students saw how the rain garden at their school was having an impact on the health of streams even though it is not directly next to a stream.