RAINWATER AND PLASTIC IN OUR WATERSHED
Participating School: Mary Collins Cherry Valley
Teachers: Lisa Lewis, Trinity Pelkofer, Craig Wicks
Grade Levels: 4th and 5th
Collaborators: Daily Acts, Marine Science Institute, NOAA Ocean Guardian
Essential Question: How can our 4th and 5th grade community build awareness of and enact positive environmental influences on the Petaluma River watershed and the marine ecosystem beyond?
Project Summary: All 4/5 Grade students at Mary Collins School will learn about the local watershed. Mr. Wicks’ students will identify the boundaries of the Mary Collins School site watershed and learn about how the school’s own watershed relates to the larger watershed that holds the school property. They will discover the path that runoff follows from the smallest rivulets at the perimeter of the school, to the storm drains on campus, to the neighborhood channels, culverts, and diversion ways, which lead to the place the pipes daylight runoff into the Petaluma River. Students will design models and help install a rainwater catchment system, collecting rain from two school garden shed roofs and stored for irrigating the school garden. Students will perform maintenance of the garden area infiltration trench in order to reduce the quantity of storm water runoff from the school site as well as have a positive effect on the quality of the runoff from the site to the watershed. Students will investigate how catching and using this rainwater has effects on the ocean environment.
Mrs. Pellkofer’s class will explore how trash from MCCV gets into the waterways.
They will examine how trash effects of storm water systems including the creatures that live in the Petaluma City waterways. Mrs. Lewis’ classroom will explore how landfill trash is separated from compostable resources at the school site. They will determine how composting can be enhanced at the school site and educate others about on their findings. They will suggest actions the school and greater community can take to improve the health of our local watershed. Students from all three classes will report findings and project completion information, including a PSA to the school community at three school assemblies and at one school board meeting, as well at the Watershed Community Day.