Rain garden installed at Bethel
by Staff Reports
Bethel Elementary School is now home to a new rain garden, a project made possible through a partnership with several local agencies.
The 850-square-foot garden, situated in front of the school, collects rainwater runoff from the school’s roof and serves as an outdoor classroom with a variety of learning opportunities for students.
Students from the Bethel Elementary Science Club were involved with the rain garden from start to finish. Students in last year’s group learned about rain gardens and helped size and plan the garden.
Their work paid off this fall as the rain garden was installed in mid-September by Brushy Fork Environmental Consultants of Mountain City, Tenn.
Students in second through eighth grades were on hand to help plant and learn firsthand about the rain garden’s function.
Bethel Principal Randy Bentley said the experience has already been beneficial for students.
“These hands-on experiences in science club and the rain garden construction are making the science they learn in class real to them,” he said. “They are able to see the connections in what they are learning in science class and how our actions impact the world in which we live.”
The rain garden was funded by a grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Watauga River Partners to enhance Beaver Dam Creek and its tributaries. Through the restoration project, landowners in Bethel are eligible to receive funding to prevent land loss from erosion, improve drinking water and fish habitats and implement best management practice on their properties.
“The students have literally dug right in to learning about climate and the environment and have had a blast doing so,” said Wendy Patoprsty, Watauga Cooperative Extension science club partner.
Watauga River Partners will continue working with interested landowners for the next 15 months. The group is working with Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting, Watauga Cooperative Extension and Watauga Soil and Water Conservation to install projects in the Beaver Dam community.
For more information, contact Ashley Wilson at (828) 278-9660 or email (email@example.com)