Environment Erie

St. George School rain garden is teaching tool

Mar 12, 2014 | Posted in News, Restoration Success Stories

Eighth-graders at St. George School helped make the water that drains from the Walnut Creek watershed cleaner by installing an urban rain garden at their school along the 5100 block of Peach Street. By disconnecting a downspout from the storm sewer and diverting it to the new garden, they are collecting water that runs off the roof and allowing it to soak into the ground instead of rushing into nearby Walnut Creek untreated.

Almost 70 students worked on the project beginning in seventh grade when they began studying the harmful effects of too much stormwater runoff. At the beginning of this school year, they helped to install the native plants that require little maintenance, and benefit wildlife.

Dubbed the St. George Rain Catcher by the students, the garden will also serve as an outdoor classroom so students at the school can continue to learn about the water cycle and their role in protecting and restoring water resources in their backyard.

The project was made possible with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Resources Education Network. Environment Erie and Pennsylvania Sea Grant provided education and other support for the project.

ANNA McCARTNEY, a communications and education specialist for Pennsylvania Sea Grant, can be reached by e-mail at axm40@psu.edu.