The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

PHWS Projects 2014

Charlestown Middle School, WV

North Jefferson Elementary School - Rain Garden

May 2014

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The two 5th grade classes and two 4th grade classes took part in five educational classes leading up to the planting of a rain garden on their school’s ground. The educational programs focused on non-point source pollution issues within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Students discovered through investigating their local watershed that they live within multiple watersheds that are within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Students learned through hands-on activities weekly and determined that recent construction of a large walkway for bus pick-up left the grounds with an increased amount of impervious pavement increasing the amount of stormwater runoff pollution. After learning about different forms of best management practices the students were excited to install a rain garden to capture the stormwater runoff.  

As one of the final activities before planting day, students were given the dimensions of the rain garden and the plant species for their school. Students designed a scale drawing of the rain garden and arranged the plants in accordance with the number available and the height differences. These plans were then compiled in to one master planting plan.

On planting day, all of the students worked in groups to installed one or two plants and mulch around their plant. Students were excited to get their hands dirty and play a role in reducing stormwater runoff at their school. Not only did the rain garden reduce the runoff it beautified the front of the school.