Rain Garden, Bird and Butterfly Habitat Work Day


Aurora Grant, Director of Photography

The first phase of the elementary students’ rain garden was planted on Friday, September 21st. A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, or lawns. Rain gardens are effective in removing nutrients, chemicals and sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a normal lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground.

The elementary students eagerly volunteered to complete a variety of jobs. Many shovels were busy digging ditches to drain excess water. Holes were dug for plants, as well as, a variety of trees which were planted in the adjoining bird and butterfly habitat. All hands were needed to stretch and pull black landscaping plastic over grassy areas that will become a border around the rain garden and the future home of additional plants. Grass in those areas will be removed in the spring. Many students worked together to spread straw and mulch around the young plants and trees.

A big thank you to Dr. Paul Hlina and his friend Bill Eldred for guiding the students and teachers through the project. Thank you also to Cheryl Schnell, our Wisconsin Green Schools Network field coach for helping the students secure a grant to fund the project. Several parents and a grandparent volunteered their help and we appreciate them very much.

Story written by: Erica Suo