Protect Water - Rain Garden
History:This project began in September 2008 and is currently ongoing. This project was done in conjunction with Horry County Water Authority. Plans were drawn up and materials were donated by local businesses. Compost and mulch were donated by Horry County Solid Waste Authority. We first determined which location on our school property was most prone to flooding. The location chosen was the place where the largest amount of water was flowing directly into a storm drain. Children in the science club were educated on the purpose and construction of a rain garden. On the day we created our rain garden, after Horry County Water Authority dug, laid down French drains, sand, mulch, and compost, students came out to help put into the ground our donated plants. Yearly, science club members weed, replant and mulch the rain garden to maintain its value and purpose. All plants in the garden are indigenous to South Carolina which helps to educate our students on the hazards of invasive plants.
August – Met with Science club sponsors and organized a schedule for students for the year.
September- Signed up science club students to schedule created in August to assist in weeding and maintaining the garden. We also meet with the garden club to discuss getting help with the rain garden and how to get items from the community to add to the garden.
October –Present school-wide PowerPoint’s with videos on what everyone can do to make a difference and our school conservation culture.
November- Weed and remove trash from the garden.
February- The Science club students plants seeds from Jupiter’s Beard, Scabiosa, and Coreopsis using our compost for our rain garden. Each year we repeat this to add to the garden.
March- Apply for a small grant for compost and mulch from HCSWA.
April- Weed, mulch and prepare the garden for Earthday Presentation. Meet with Mentor.
May- Recheck and weed the garden for summer break.
The educational components began with the lessons in 7th grade in our “Soil and Water Essay, where we looked at the impacts of run-off water and how it pollutes our fresh water supply. We also analyze the impact of invasive species and tie this into the importance of picking native plants for our garden. We bring this information to our student body and science club students to show them how we can make a difference on our school property. This information is also presented in our school-wide Academic Advisory lessons each subsequent year.
After the first year of building the rain garden, we are in the maintenance mode. In the spring of each year, we focus on re-mulching and re-planting so that the garden keeps its integrity.
Soil/filler materials for the garden include: gravel, sand, compost, hardwood mulch
Plants for the garden include: Purple Muhly Grass, Jupiter’s Beard, Scabiosa, Coreopsis, and a variety of irises