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Forest Hills Northern Trails 5/6

Summary
A retention pond at the corner of Leonard and Beltline approximately one mile from our school needs renewal. It receives runoff from the two streets and parking lots adjacent to it. The rain from roofs of buildings surrounding the pond drain directly into it and the lawn around it is fertilized creating additional problems of runoff into the pond. This pond is located in the Plaster Creek Watershed. Students are doing water quality checks, researching strategies to clean the pond and implementing appropriate strategies, which include planting and cleaning. Students are also creating instructional materials for the class the following year as they begin their Groundswell work.

Fostering Lifelong Stewardship
Students clearly have a greater sense of efficacy in being environmental stewards. I believe they will seek to learn more about this and take on more personal responsibility for being better stewards. Students have already begun to apply their learning to their own home areas, discussing how to put more native plants on their properties and how to have their parents use more sustainable lawn care.

Number of Students
125

Number of Teachers
5

Partners
Ada Township Parks
Kent Conservation District
Ada Township Parks
Rebecca Marquardt, landscape architect

Funders
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Tags
stormwater, runoff, NPS pollution, pond restoration, native vegetation

Summary
The students at Northern Trails understood what the Conservation pond needs in order for it to be a healthy pond. Students brainstormed ideas about what we could do to improve it. Students also collected data, made maps, tested water, and did physical work for restoration – planting, digging, etc. Students planted native plants near shore of the pond on the north side. The goal will be for the pond to not be mowed to the edge, which will allow the native plants to establish themselves and help improve water quality. Students also did water testing in same area to collect before and after data. Geese were counted early in spring as well as goose droppings.

Data were collected and averages found. These data will again be compared to data collected in 3 years. Students also were also able to experience working on the GVSU AWRI research vessel. After all of these experiences students on one of the teams passed information along, in the form of brochures/fliers, to others in the community so that what they learned can help educate and inform others. Through all of these experiences, students can feel like they have contributed to being good stewards of the earth.

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

Number of Students
162

Number of Teachers
3

Partners
Kent Conservation District
Ada Township Parks
Grand Valley Metro Council / Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds

Funders
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Tags
stormwater, runoff, NPS pollution, pond restoration, native vegetation, geese

District
Forest Hills Public Schools

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

View Project Photos