The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

PHWS Projects 2013

Mountain Ridge Intermediate School, WV

Mountain Ridge Intermediate School – Rain Garden – Gerrardstown, WV

April 2013

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Twenty- seven students from the 5th grade class the Mountain Ridge Intermediate School participated with lead teacher, Beth LeGrand, in planting 72 native plants in a 120 square foot rain garden. The rain garden is located near the art classroom along the side of the school.

After meeting with Principal Mullenax and Beth LeGrand it was clear the enthusiasm they had for a diverse landscape around the school grounds. The abundance of turf grass surrounding the school provided a blank canvas for change and a rain garden that provided both function and beauty for the school was an ideal match. The rain garden will capture stormwater runoff pollution from a section of parking lot and sidewalk.

Four students from Musselman High School’s W.E.T Club (Watershed Enhancement Team) visited the school to provide an educational outreach for the 5th grade class. The High School students gave lessons using Cacapon Institute’s Potomac Highlands Watershed School (eSchool) on watersheds and non-point source pollution. An enviroscape was used to depict how urban and agricultural runoff pollution can decrease water quality. Students learned that pollution affecting water quality comes from the surrounding land use practices.

Students joined us first thing on April 11, to get started on planting. Molly Barkman, CI’s Outreach Coordinator, did a small review lesson with the students before planting. Each student helped to arrange the plants according to the plant that had been drawn up prior.  A planting demo was performed for the students. The hard working students worked in pairs to plant the 72 native plants.

Students learned new names for plants and also learned the proper mulching practices.

Students enjoyed the activity and reflected on their experience in a writing assignment.


A core group of students continues to make sure the rain garden is watered and the weeds are pulled.