Water Quality Improvement

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Feb 26

Sherman Elementary gets new Rain Garden through Green Partnership Fund

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 8:48 AM by Allan Warren

Sherman Elementary Rain GardenWith the idea of a parent of a 1st grade student and the interest of several teachers at Sherman Elementary School one more rain garden has been planted in Tacoma.
Stephanie Brock saw the blackberry infested patch of ground next to the kids’ play equipment as an opportunity, not an eye sore.

“I approached Mr. Stanley about the grant and rain garden last fall because I saw the opportunity to work with the school on a stormwater project that could teach the students and community about all aspects of stormwater, which is the biggest impact on salmon in the Puget Sound,” Brock said.

So after students completed an infiltration test last spring, confirming that the soils are appropriate for a rain garden, PCD supported the rain garden by awarding a Green Partnership Fund grant for the work and staff assisted the school in the design and installation of the rain garden.
Rain Garden Cost Share Snippet
“Children often learn through planned lessons and through their own experiences that humans impact the environment in negative and harmful ways. I intend to use the rain gardens to demonstrate to the children that through careful planning and thoughtful engineering, humans can also protect the environment, restore the environment, and live within it more sustainably," said Mr. Stanley, a Sherman Elementary Teacher. "As the garden matures over the next few years, students will be able to formally and informally make observations about the plants and animals that will use this space. These positive experiences should lead to a willingness to participate in maintaining what we have started and to look for other opportunities to make positive impacts.”
“I enjoyed watching the students take ownership of the process from planning the layout of the pond to planting," Brock said. "They learned about calculating soil infiltration rates, what plants would thrive in their garden and why, and why disconnecting the roof downspout was important. Seeing their sense of pride that part of the stormwater from their school roof is no longer going directly to the Sound, but is helping their garden grow is inspiring. I would love to try to put in another garden at the school or at different school in Tacoma.”
This is the third school rain garden that the District has designed and installed. Rain gardens provide a perfect setting to teach about water quality, habitat creation, and the impact of student actions on protecting our natural resources.