The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

PHWS Projects 2014

Slanesville Elementary School, WV

Rain Garden and Tree Planting

Slanesville Elementary School, Slanesville, WV

The thirty-five 1st grade students at Slanesville Elementary School took part in a tree and flower education day. Students identified the key parts of a tree and made observations of a tree cookies. Upon passing out the tree cookies one student shouted, “The rings tell how old the tree is and you can count them to find out!”  Students used their sense of touch, smell, and sight to form conclusions about the different cookies. Comments included: smooth, bumpy, smells like syrup, different shades of brown, and the bark protects the inside. Students learned that they would be planting two Flowering Dogwood trees, two Eastern Redbuds, and two Sugar Maple trees on their playground. Next the students learned about the basic parts of a flower. Students were excited to have a rain garden at the school and when asked to talk about some insects they might find in the garden comments included: butterflies, bees, lady bugs, and some students hoped a rabbit would find a home in the garden.

A week later it was planting day! Even though there was a chance of storms the students were excited to get outside to plant native flowers and trees. The two classes made four groups that rotated outside throughout the afternoon. The weather held out and was sunny. Each group of students were able to plant native flowers in the rain garden and plant a tree before returning inside to wash their hands. There were multiple parent volunteers that helped the students complete the projects. At the end of the day 75 native plants were installed in their 102 square foot garden and six native tree species were planted on the grounds.

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