Students at McDougle Middle School participated in the completion of the rain garden by helping to break up ground and plant vegetation like grasses.
“It is so great the way it came together. You have to love it,” said Friends of Bolin Creek Chairwoman Julie McClintock.
At the celebration, Aultman, the garden’s designers and others involved with the project taught students about environmental problems caused by runoff through practical demonstrations. They also highlighted problems a rain garden can solve.
Students rotated through three learning stations where they planted and mulched the garden, learned about how water-resistant surfaces affect runoff and investigated how many tanks it would take to capture all of the water off of their gym’s roof.
A 2009 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent runoff pollution to Bolin Creek made the garden possible. McClintock said she was surprised when Carrboro and Friends of Bolin Creek received the grant. She said it took awhile from the time the two parties filed for the funding to when they received information they had won.
Carrboro and Friends of Bolin Creek used the money to contract with Zan Price and Mitch Woodward, who both work for N.C. State University’s Cooperative Extension. Price and Woodward designed and helped build the garden.
Price said he thinks of the rain garden as a community project that demonstrates how to improve water quality.
“I was worried about working with eighth graders, but it’s been great,” Price said. “The town has been great. The school has been great.”
Friends of Bolin Creek is making a documentary about the project, McClintock said. She said documentation is important because it educates the community and helps other schools duplicate the project. They will release the film initially on Facebook and YouTube.
“Everyone will be able to learn something about stormwater management,” said Cara Biasucci, the documentary’s producer and director.
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