Planting a school raingarden
In early spring 2021, students, parents and staff of Normandale Hills Elementary transformed what was a grassy low spot into a beautiful raingarden. This basin had been installed as part of a larger renovation project a few years ago, and all that was needed was some elbow grease to make it bloom.
District staff worked with a small group of teachers, administrators, and a parent volunteer for over a year to plan the layout of the raingarden. Despite the pandemic and the ever-changing landscape of schooling, this partnership persevered.
Parents and student volunteers prepared the shallow basin by removing sod, adding compost, and adding mulch. By doing these things, they were giving the new plants a head start on weeds and lawn grass that might otherwise have invaded the newly exposed soil.
After that, 5th graders helped plant over 400 native flowers and shrubs in this space, and 4th graders helped with the nearby vegetable gardens. All of the plants are pollinator favorites, and will also attract many different bird species. As an added bonus, students made stepping stones in art class that were also installed to create a path through the raingarden. Teachers plan to use this garden in the future as part of their lessons, giving students a real world application for the things they are learning about.
Thank you volunteers!
We could not have done this without the help of over 100 volunteers. Thank you all for your time and effort.
The District and Normandale Hills Elementary School are excited to complete this project with the help of a grant from the MN River Valley Audubon Chapter. Visit their webpage here: mrvac.org