Grade 6 students concerned about shrinking monarch butterfly populations now have an outdoor classroom, or rain garden, to call their own at Kenollie Public School in Mineola.
“They’re learning about plant species, attracting insects, and taking responsibility for caring for the garden,” Kenollie principal Jennifer El Refaie said at Wednesday’s grand opening.
Students are studying how rain gardens collect rainwater from hard surfaces, including roofs and pavement, and filter out pollutants so cleaner water infiltrates into the ground or flows into waterways.
The Kenollie rain garden will clean rainwater before it enters Kenollie Creek, a tributary of the Credit River.
Through a partnership with Credit Valley Conservation and several sponsors, the project has taken two years to come to fruition.
“Public education depends on partnerships,” said Ward 1 Coun. Jim Tovey.
“This rain garden is a living example.”
Students are also tapping into design skills, collecting recycled materials and creating sculptures of local wildlife; a dragon was made from bottle caps.
Residents are encouraged to visit the Glenwood Dr. school to see the rain garden, art, and learn how to improve water quality and decrease flooding on their properties.