Build a Rain Garden because “the runoff will go the aquifer” shares sixth graders Alendra, Teana and Audrie.
Combining their knowledge of permeable surfaces, the infiltration and storage capacity of four earth media (sand, soil, pebbles and black sand), students built their own model rain garden. Referencing their engineering blueprint, 6th grade Watershed Rangers at Mar Vista Elementary constructed layers of sand, soil, rocks, and native plants to demonstrate how low impact development or green engineering can help recharge local aquifers and reduce stormwater runoff. Serving as the experts at their school, they evaluated the success of their rain garden and determined that successful rain gardens require proper layering of permeable materials, a ponding zone to collect water, sufficient storage capacity, proper placement of native plants where they are most likely to survive, and slopes to increase drainage. Watershed Rangers applied their knowledge by providing recommendations for where a rain garden be successful on their school campus. We can all learn from their advice.
How to Construct a Sucessful Rain Garden
“The plants on the side of the garden don’t need as much water as the plants in the center” share Sam, Corbin and Joliette.
Alendra, Teana and Audrie suggest adding a top layer of soil that helps water permeate but also supports plant growth.
Tess, Alyssa, Sophie, Leah and Samantha demonstrate that you need a gentle slope in the middle of the rain garden to help water collect called a “ponding zone.”
Joe, Kiana and Riley show that a rain garden can also help filter harmful materials out of the water. They suggest that mulch and pebbles “gets out all the big clumps of dirt and leaf” and therefore better filtered water is heading to our aquifers.
Jules, Trevor and Onan suggest having a gently sloping area away from the rain garden made up of pebbles helps reduce runoff of overflow water.
Recommended Places to Construct a Rain Garden
Alendra, Teana and Audrie suggest placing a rain garden where water pools up.
Jasiah, Dom and Tony suggest that the school “put a rain garden under the benches close to our classroom because it is close to a storm drain.”
Micah, Malakai and Marielle suggest constructing a rain garden where it gets muddy because it helps soak up water.