is going green, thanks to teacher Scott Dickison and a dedicated group of students.
Dickison, who also runs the Horticultural Department, addressed the Newport School Committee during Tuesday night’s meeting at the calling attention to the role Rogers High School may have with the quality of water at Lily Pond.
Along with a group of students, Dickison has written a proposal for a campus improvement project to address the issue of storm water runoff from the watershed, which runs directly into the pond.
“Impervious surfaces, pavement, and asphalt roofs all flow into storm water systems,” he said.
Dickison suggested putting rain gardens in place around the high school’s campus, which would let water seep into the ground instead of flowing into the drainage systems.
The gardens would be relatively small, “slight depression[s]” in the ground.
Rain gardens can only hold so much water, and overflow would be directed into existing storm drains.
“The main parking lot is pitched, so water flows in a couple of pathways. This sort of garden could be very effective there,” he said.
Dickison also showed pictures of standing water by the front of the school as a place for further potential rain gardens.
The program would not cost the school money, as the group has requested grant money and plans to get the community involved with landscaping and construction companies, Dickison said.
"We're hoping we can snowball it,” he said, adding that they would be open to financial donations.
If all goes according to plan, the first two phases could be accomplished by this spring. Then, additional plans will be designed to address remaining concerns for the green campus plan.
“I think it’s a great proposal,” School Committee Chairman Patrick Kelley said, who also suggested putting it on the agenda as an action item in a future meeting.
Committee member Robert Leary also suggested putting part of the one percent of the budget that goes towards school improvement, approximately $400,00, towards the project.
All of this year's funds have gone towards the Pell Elementary School.
“We do have money in the budget for next year,” he said.