Since horticulture teacher Scott Dickison on the school’s campus during a recent school committee meeting, a lot has been going on behind the scenes.
Dickison has been applying for grants, seeking out volunteers to donate time and resources, and spreading the word about the project around town.
He and his class have targeted four initial areas to implement rain gardens: one in the front of the school and three near the faculty and student parking lot. The position of the gardens are based on their proximity to the storm drains.
There are two additional areas for possible rain gardens under consideration, Dickison said.
“We can make this an example of what can be done,” he said. “If it comes down to it, our class can do it by hand.”
Rain gardens are comprised of mostly mulch and grass, which absorb rainwater back into the ground, instead of funneling stormwater run-off directly into storm drains.
All stormwater that runs into the storm drains on the Rogers High School campus flows into Lily Pond.
If the project’s budget grows, there are certain plants that are suited for periodic flooding that assist in depositing water back into the ground.
Currently, there are no rain gardens in Newport, Dickison said.
A long-term goal would be to remove the unnecessary asphalt from the campus and replace it with grass, he added.
Dickison said while financial donations are welcome, he and his students would rather have someone donate a backhoe for a day, seeds and mulch, or any other resources necessary for the garden.