According to teacher Melanie Gould, the students decided they wanted to take on the project, and went before both the Sand Lake Village Council and Nelson Township Board with their proposal. And it worked.
Now, instead of just being mowed, it will be returned to a more natural state.
Gould said that students have been learning about the prairie and rain garden in the best possible way: outside and hands on!
“It’s such a great thing,” said teacher Melanie Gould. “Kids that might not shine in the classroom can shine out here,” she said.
The students have been learning about the native plants in the garden that soak up and purify pollutants, and about the animals that depend on the specialized ecosystems. With the help of master naturalist Laurie Grant, the students are researching the importance of native wildflower gardens, creating a field guide blog, and working to maintain and build upon the gardens in place.
The students and community volunteers are creating a walkway through the garden and will be putting up a kiosk to inform visitors about the plants and animals that can be seen in the garden. Student volunteers of all ages will help maintain the garden all summer long.
For more information on the Sand Lake Elementary Green Club and their mission, contact Melanie Gould or Michele VanderVelde at 616-636-5669.