Riverstone Pollinator Garden and Bioswale Expansion
The Riverstone International School Pollinator Garden and Bioswale has become a hub for numerous campus environmental and sustainability literacy activities. As awareness has grown, so has the desire for larger and more comprehensive ecological, place-based educational opportunities. On the school's annual Day of Service, students in two of the Middle and High School Advisory groups will spearhead a garden expansion by removing sod and planting native cattails and monkey flowers in the wetland zones of the swale, rabbitbrush, winterfat and Indian ricegrass in the xeric zones. Additionally, to emphasize the link between pollinators and our food supply, we will plant 2, 3-way grafted apple trees and 6 blueberry bushes. In line with reducing landfill waste, all sod that is removed will be used as fill to finetune hydrologic gradients. When we're all done we will have increased our capacity to divert water from significant rainfall events and continued our transition away from low-value turf grass to a more diverse assemblage of native and edible plants.
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The Riverstone Pollinator Garden and Bioswale continues to garner more attention every time it gets expanded. As it becomes more visible, more and more people are celebrating the message and the opportunity for students to participate in the creation of dynamic outdoor learning spaces. Additionally, the larger it gets the more students it is capable of engaging; last year there would not have been enough work for 20 students, but this year there was plenty for all 35 students to do. Teachers have started asking about how they can get similar outdoor teaching spaces created closer to their classrooms.