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Photo by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools Workers install the storm drainage pipes for the rain gardens this week at the WDC School construction site. The storm lines run about 6 to 10 feet below grade and will connect the 10 rain gardens located around the WDC campus.

New WDC School to feature 'rain gardens'

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news Wadena, 56482
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

When the new Wadena-Deer Creek School is finished in fall 2012, students will be looking forward to rainy days to see how their "rain gardens" enrich the environment.

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WDC School is building 10 rain gardens of various sizes around the WDC campus grounds. According to Bill Born, project supervisor, Kraus-Anderson Construction, a rain garden is a depression in the ground that's designed to catch rain water and slow down and improve the quality of the storm water runoff. The rain gardens also provide a natural habitat for birds and butterflies.

Most importantly though, WDC decided to build the rain gardens as a way to make the school more environmentally friendly for students and the community.

"Creating these rain gardens will help build environmental stewardship in our students," said Kelly Shrode, WDC science teacher. The rain gardens will be incorporated into the school's curriculum as an "outdoor classroom," Shrode added.

Landscaping of native plants, perennials, trees and shrubs will surround the edges of the rain gardens. The bottom 3 feet of the rain garden will be filled with washed rock and the next 30 inches will be a layer of washed sand and organic leaf compost. After a significant rainfall, the rain gardens will quickly soak up the moisture. If a large amount of rain does occur, the storm pipe system that's being installed and connected to the rain gardens will drain the excess to the pond located on the northwest corner of the WDC campus.

In addition to the rain gardens, plans are to include more "green" projects at WDC's new school, such as a high-tunnel greenhouse and a community garden.

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