East School Rain Garden
The rain garden basins that now flourish in front of East Elementary School began as a solution to a rainwater drainage problem and grew into the first phase of an educational and environmental effort to raise community awareness about rainwater runoff and the impact of human development on the natural features around East Elementary School. During the process of planning and creating the East School rain garden, a committee of concerned parents and staff members came together to address sustainability issues at East School.
Educating the students about water and soil conservation began in spring 2008, as teams of fourth and fifth grade students learned about and created presentations to teach fellow students about runoff, water pollution and the benefits of rain gardens. The educational opportunities continued during fall 2008 with art classes at East School investigating and drawing pictures of native plants. Curriculum tie-ins will be continually added, using the rain garden as a kid-friendly way for students opportunities to learn about our environment and human effects on it.
The East Elementary School Community Rain Garden resulted from a collaboration between East School parents, the Sauk County Conservation, Planning and Zoning Department, and the staff of East School and the Baraboo School District. The project was funded through grants from the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation, Habitats Forever, and the Graham-Martin Foundation, contributions from the East School Parent Support Group and East School plant sponsors, and support from the Baraboo School District.
In summer of 2011, phase 2 of the rain garden water handling project was completed, with a rain garden basin installation in the southeast corner of the playground.