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Forest Hills Central Middle School

Summary
Students in Honors Foundations of Science worked with the Natural Expressions classes to assess the property at Central Middle School for nonpoint source pollution issues. Students designed plans for ways to mitigate problems on the campus and community parks, reducing pollution in the Grand River Watershed. Students determined two sites of turf grass to design and implement native plantings to increase stormwater infiltration and stop runoff from the sidewalk and driveway.

Fostering Lifelong Stewardship
Students now know more about native plants and the process to design a landscaping project. They are able to properly prepare the ground, as well as correctly plant plants. They understand the need to reduce nonpoint source pollution and some small steps that can be taken to achieve this goal. The students will view and hopefully vocalize about landscaping practices along shorelines. They understand the importance of native plants and will be more likely to incorporate them at their current homes and potentially future homes.

Number of Students
135

Number of Teachers
2

Partners
Ada Township Parks
Georgia Donovan
Rebecca Marquardt, landscape architect

Funders
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Tags
NPS pollution, stormwater, runoff, native plants

Summary
Middle school students engaged in a two-part project:

Outdoor Classrooms: Students identified areas on campus they feel would make good locations for core teachers to take their students to learn. These “outdoor classrooms” need work—students are creating trails, signs, seating areas, and clearing invasive and dead plants from the area. In an effort to inform teachers, students are creating documents to pitch to the classrooms.

Overwintering Bird Habitat: Students determined that an area of mowed turf grass outside the classroom should be repurposed for bird habitat in order to give some birds food, water, and shelter in the winter. Their goal is to lessen the mowing area on the CMS campus and give students a view from the indoors they can learn from throughout the year.

Showcase Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5RIEeqJwgs

Number of Students
115

Number of Teachers
1

Partners
Grand Rapids Jr. Audubon Club

Funders
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tags
outdoor classroom, bird habitat

District
Forest Hills Public Schools

School Website
http://www.fhps.net/centralmiddle/

View Project Photos