Hopewell Elementary Celebrates New Rain Garden Space Benefits Student Learning, Local Water Quality

Hopewell Elementary Celebrates New Rain Garden Space Benefits Student Learning, Local Water Quality
Hopewell Elementary Celebrates New Rain Garden Space Benefits Student Learning, Local Water QualityA new rain garden at Hopewell Elementary is doubling as an outdoor classroom for student learning and a storm water management system for improved water quality in a neighboring creek that feeds into the Ohio River.

The project, dedicated with a school and community ribbon cutting on Friday, April 29, filters and slows large amounts of storm water flowing from the school parking lot and soccer fields into the East Fork Mill Creek. The three new landscapes, planted by Hopewell students last spring, help lessen erosion, reducing sediment pollution and protecting the stream’s habitat and water quality. 

Students filled the gardens with native plants, flowers and prairies, providing a “treatment train” for water entering the stream. The project has since served as a student laboratory for studying healthy ecosystems and learning about native plants and wildlife. Students have used the space to calculate storm water run-off, among many other experiments.

“This project was a perfect match for the Hopewell community,” said Principal Christina French. “In addition to beautifying our school grounds, it has so much potential for hands-on student learning. Plus, it has the added benefit of serving a larger community need.”

Project partners included the Butler Soil and Water Conservation District, the Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which funded the project through a surface water improvement grant.

Click here to view a brief video from the ribbon cutting ceremony produced by West Chester Township.


Above, students fill the garden with native plants and flowers, creating a natural filtering system for water flowing into the East Fork Mill Creek.



A community dedication was held in late April. Here Hopewell Elementary students Solange Boaitey (from left) and Jack Gerlaugh join Principal Christina French in cutting the ribbon.