Sullivan School District
Davey Resource Group installed a rain garden at Sullivan High in Chicago which became a hands-on learning experience for the school’s biology students while also helping to reach the school’s sustainability goals.
During the planning and research phase of the project, Davey invited Sullivan High’s Sustainability Program to discuss the native plant species best suited for rain-garden environments, to highlight the importance of balanced ecosystems, to emphasize the necessity of fighting climate change, and—based on what they learned—to create their own landscape plans. Davey then used those plans to create the project’s master design scheme.
Educational Outreach Every Step Of The Way
The building phase offered the school a first-hand look at the installation process and directly engaged several Biology classes in the installation and cleanup efforts, including digging a shallow trench for drainage as well as planting and watering plugs and shrubs. By the end of September, the 480 square-foot garden boasted a total of 44 plants and shrubs, for which students took full responsibility. Since then, the goal has been to expand the garden’s biodiversity and effectiveness and to encourage hands-on engagement with future generations of Sullivan students.
“We created the rain garden to help these students metaphorically and physically establish roots in the area because the school boasts a large number of refugee families. We’re trying not only to provide them with a beautiful garden but a way to connect with, and at, the school. The school is undergoing renovations, and this was a way for them to get involved and to feel pride at their school.”