A bare flower bed at Luther Burbank Middle School was transformed Thursday when students, staff and community volunteers marked Earth Day by installing a native-plant garden designed to capture rain water.
The 3,900-square-feet plot near the front entrance of the school was a collaboration between the middle school and Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute.
"It creates a good environment for learning," Luther Principal Anita Schackmann said of the beautification project. "And this is a teaching tool."
After rain partially flooded the campus during the winter storms, Luther science teacher and Eco Club leader Jamie Wisehaupt won a $2,500 grant for a hybrid landscaping-education project. She then reached out to the university, eventually connecting with Barry Talley, a graduate student in the architecture department.
Talley began working with Wisehaupt's gardening class on a weekly basis, laying the groundwork for the project. They wanted to create something that would capture rain water that was otherwise going to waste. The empty space that they selected is surrounded on three sides by covered walkways that dump water onto the flower bed when it rains.