Education > Schoolyard Habitats >Success Stories > 2013/2014 School Year
 


Schoolyard Habitat Success Stories


 

2013/2014 School Year

RTC Park Easton, MD
Grasonville Elementary School Grasonville, MD
G.James Gholson Middle School Washington, DC
Millstream Park Stormwater Education Station Centreville, MD    
Millsboro Middle School Millsboro, DE    
Evans Elementary School Royersford, PA    
Greenwoods Charter School Philadelphia, PA    
 

RTC Park

Location: Easton, MD

Type of Habitat: Stream Buffer

Installed: October 22, 2013

Area Size:  304,920 ft2

Cost: $ 1,000

Supported by: The Maryland Governor’s Stream Restoration Challenge

Number of Students Involved: 167

Design: Easton High School Students

Noteworthy: In the summer of 2013, Environmental Concern (EC) partnered with Pickering Creek Audubon Center, The Town of Easton, Talbot County, and Talbot County Public Schools to implement a stream buffer restoration project. The Maryland Governor's Stream Restoration Challenge grant funded this opportunity to teach students across the Chesapeake Bay region about how to improve impaired streams and watershed health. This grant also specified that each project include a service learning component for the students. Talbot County Public School students from Easton High and St. Michaels Middle High School received in class lessons to learn the importance of stream buffers, conducted site assessments of the planted area, and planted the area with different types of native trees. 1400 trees were planted at the RTC Park to improve seven acres of buffer adjacent to the North Fork of the Tanyard Branch Stream. Over 167 students were involved in this project. Seventh graders from the Chesapeake Christian School and community volunteers also joined partners for the tree planting day.

High School and Middle Schools plant RTC Park in Easton

High School and Middle Schools plant RTC Park in Easton

High School and Middle Schools plant RTC Park in Easton

   

 

Grasonville Elementary School

Location: Grasonville, MD

Type of Habitat: Fresh Water Marsh

Installed: October 8, 2013

Area Size: 1,100 ft2

Supported by: Chesapeake Bay Trust

Number of Students Involved: 600

Design: Grasonville Elementary GRACIE Group

Noteworthy:  In the previous school year Environmental Concern (EC) Educators worked with 4th and 5th grade students in the Grasonville Raises Awareness for Community Interactions with the Environment (GRACIE) group to design a native courtyard habitat garden. In this school year, the group invited EC back to help install a fresh water marsh in two phases. The 4th and 5th grade group designed the entire project from start to finish, including the grant application which secured funding for phase 1. The GRACIE group was able to get the entire school involved for planting day to install the core of the wetland which included the ponding area. The group planned to secure more funding and implement a phase 2 for planting the upland area of the habitat.


Grasonville Elementary School excavation by Environmental Concern 

 

 

Grasonville Elementary School Wetland Planting completed

Grasonville Elementary School students planting wetland
Completed wetland at Grasonville Elementary School

 

G. James Gholson Middle School

Location: Washington D.C.

Type of Habitat: Rain Garden

Installed: October 3, 2013

Area Size: 109 plants, 936 ft2

Cost: $840

Supported by: Chesapeake Bay Trust

Number of Students Involved: 61

Design: G James Gholson Middle School Staff and Students

Noteworthy: After participating in Environmental Concern’s (EC) POW! The Planning of Wetlands Workshop, G. James Gholson Middle School teachers contacted EC to partner as a mentor and consultant on implementing a rain garden project. The school’s environmental club spearheaded the project to implement responsible habitat techniques to improve their property’s stormwater runoff. Students and teachers utilized provided lessons to create a habitat design and planting plan for the space. They also applied and secured CBT mini grant funds to install the space. EC Educators supplied plants from their native plant nursery and assisted in leading a Rain Garden Planting Day. Students planted 109 native plants while investigating the benefits of rain gardens through EC led activities.

G James Gholson Middle School students plant rain garden

G James Gholson Middle School students plant rain garden

G James Gholson Middle School students plant rain garden

Completed rain garden at G James Gholson Middle School

   

 

Millstream Park Education Station

Location: Centreville, MD

Type of Habitat: Rain Garden

YouTube link to Millstream Park video

Installed: June 5, 2014

Area Size: 300 ft2

Supported by: Environmental Concern

Number of Students Involved: 10

Design: Environmental Concern and Centreville Middle School Students

Noteworthy: The Town of Centreville partnered with Environmental Concern (EC) to construct a stormwater management education station to serve as a demonstration site to residents that utilize the Millstream Park. The Education Station included a structure to highlight best management practices homeowners could utilize to improve stormwater runoff. The site showcased a green roof structure and gutters that connected to rain barrels. EC donated the design and installation of a 300 ft2 rain garden. Partners reached out to Centreville Elementary School’s Green Team (club) and the local Boy Scout troops to participate in an EC-led planting day. The planting was originally scheduled as an Earth Day event, however due to inclement weather the planting day was rescheduled for June. Ten students from Centreville Middle School volunteered to help with the installation of the habitat area and beautify the outdoor learning space.

 

EC Excavated Rain Garden at the Stormwater Education Station in Centreville's Millstream Park 

EC installes permeable pavers at the Stormwater Education Station in Centreville's Millstream Park

Stormwater Education Station in Centreville's Millstream Park on Planting Day

Completed Stormwater Education Station in Centreville

   

 

Millsboro Middle School

Location: Millsboro, DE

Type of Habitat: Rain Garden

Installed: May 6, 2014

Area Size:  750 ft2

Cost: $2000

Supported by: Delaware Center for Inland Bays

Number of Students Involved: 562

Design: Environmental Concern and Millsboro Middle School Students

Noteworthy: The Millsboro Middle School’s rain garden project transcended Environmental Concern’s (EC) student-involved habitat implementation expectations. Teachers and administration really gave students the autonomy to be habitat designers. Student leaders were elected from each class to represent the student body at a provided teacher professional development workshop. Students worked alongside their teachers to learn the basics of rain garden functions, design techniques, and the habitat implementation process. Teachers provided their students time to create their own design and planting plan that they submitted to EC’s Restoration Specialists for final editing. EC’s Restoration Specialist finalized the design with the student specifications: all selected plants represented the school’s colors and the rain garden functioned within a star-like flower shape. Students also learned about propagating and growing native plants through a native plant presentation and potting day. Throughout the spring, each class raised selected rain garden plant species in their classrooms to plant at an EC-led planting day. The Delaware Center for Inland Bays also provided staff and volunteers to lead an entire Rain Garden Education Day where all 562 students participated in not only planting, but numerous educational stations about the benefits of rain gardens to their watershed.


Millsboro Middle School students plant rain garden



Millsboro Middle School students plant rain garden
Millsboro Middle School students plant rain garden
Millsboro Middle School rain garden

 

Evans Elementary School

Location: Royersford, PA

Type of Habitat: Rain Garden

Installed: May 9, 2014

Area Size:  900 ft2

Cost: $1,600

Supported by: Anonymous Grant

Number of Students Involved: 620

Noteworthy: Evan Elementary’s 900 ft2 rain garden was established to meet two specific goals. First, to take responsibility for the school’s stormwater runoff; second, to serve as a butterfly garden to enhance the pollinator curriculum the students were utilizing in the classroom. All native plants were selected to benefit pollinators in some form of their life cycle. They also had to have a wide water tolerance range to be selected to thrive in the rain garden. In an effort to further align the rain garden to mandated curriculum, the teachers participated in two different planning workshops. The teachers received over seventy-five different lessons to utilize the habitat as an outdoor learning laboratory on their campus. The teachers also received several Raising Rain Garden Growing Systems so students could continue to support the habitat space in the future. The entire school was involved in an EC-led habitat planting day. EC educators trained parent volunteers to lead over nine different rain garden learning stations as the planting was occurring. Every student from the school was involved in the planting efforts.

Evans Elementary School before the installation of the rain garden

Evans Elementary School Rain Garden 1 year after completion

Evans Elementary School students plant rain garden 

Evans Elementary School students plant rain garden

 

Greenwoods Charter School

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Type of Habitat: Rain Garden

Installed: May 22, 2014

Cost: $1,100

Supported by: Anonymous Grant

Number of Students Involved: 607

Noteworthy: In the 2013-2014 school year, The Green Woods Charter School (GWC) was at the tail-end of a massive new school construction. The new, roughly 13 million dollar, 60,000-square-foot school building was being built on 5.5 acres on what had been Keenan's Valley View Inn for nearly three decades. Since the Inn’s closure in June 2012, the property had become a dumping ground and was designated a brownfield site, with high levels of lead and arsenic from the region's older industrial past. The school’s innovative new campus design was an educational oasis that included a large pond, rain gardens, wetlands, and a stream flowing by a welcoming structure of steel, stone and glass.  EC was invited to partner on this project to help get the students involved in the site’s transformation. EC provided over 530 plants, during an EC led student planting day, to supplement the school’s engineering and construction firms’ work. Two planting sites – one rain garden and one wetland were planted to be utilized by the school as an outdoor laboratory for mandated curriculum. EC Educators provided GWC teachers over one hundred lessons to engage their students in the design, development, and monitoring of the habitat spaces. Teachers also received curriculum kits and growing systems to further their habitat lessons for years to come.

Greenwood Charter School students plant wetland

Greenwood Charter School Students plant rain garden

 Greenwood Charter School students plant wetland

Greenwood Charter School Rain Garden

Back to Schoolyard Success Storiesa>