St. Anne’s Water Retrofit
Each spring, snowmelt from the field behind our school causes a great deal of flooding around the perimeter of our yard. We wanted to revegetate the area with the greatest amount of flooding, to help absorb some of this water, while also adding shade for students, and opportunities to interact with different plant species. The goal was to cultivate enhanced nature connection in students by creating a space in which they could learn the names of various native plant species, and about their importance in their respective ecosystems.
Students participated in workshops, learning about the importance of water, and the Jackson Creek watershed, of which we are a part. They planned small gardens within the allocated garden area, each of which were planned around the habitat requirements of a “stakeholder” species. Students had worked in groups to research their stakeholders, and had selected plants they felt would support them. Students planted the native trees, shrubs, and grasses throughout the garden area, and then participated in weeding and watering of the area in the weeks following this. The final phase of this project has been centered around school and community engagement. Students have designed and created a website which includes information on all present and future sustainability projects and initiatives that happen at our school. They have also created signs to go in the garden space, each of which contains information about the tree species in the garden space, the stakeholders this site was built to support, and information on how this garden site connects to the water cycle. Each sign contains a QR code, which links to the pages of their website that expand on the information contained in each sign.
Reflection & Celebration
We have not yet had the opportunity to reflect and celebrate, as school closures have made even completing this project extremely challenging. This is planned for the fall of 2021!