Locust Valley High School received a $1,000 grant from the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District to create a rain garden, which serves as an educational tool while helping the environment.

Member of the high school’s Garden Club volunteered to spend a Saturday afternoon creating the rain garden in a designated space in the garden that already existed at the high school. The existence of this garden helped Locust Valley secure the grant over the competitors because it had all of the features necessary to support a rain garden.

Forty-three people took time to make the rain garden a reality. High school and middle school garden club members were the primary workers and had help from IB science students, parents, elementary school students, staff and even one supportive spouse. Volunteers began the arduous process of moving dirt for four hours. Native perennials will be planted and the garden will be ready for the spring and summer rains. Rain gardens are self-sustaining, requiring minimal maintenance after the initial construction. The Garden Club will take responsibility for what maintenance is necessary.

Tina J. Hament and Alyssa R. Anderson, Garden Club Advisors submitted the grant proposal to the county and accepted the challenge of helping students create the rain garden alongside the existing fruit and vegetable garden.

Ms. Hament explained that a rain garden improves water quality in nearby bodies of water, as it cuts down the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams. It reduces rain runoff by allowing storm water to soak into the ground as opposed to flowing into storm drains. “Rain gardens allow students to become aware of the complications of living in the suburbs as opposed to living in the country,” she said. “Students can learn so much from this rain garden.”

Special thanks go out to High School Principal Dr. Kieran McGuire for providing lunch for the hungry crew and also to Mrs. Kerian Carlstrom, Board of Education trustee who attended to offer her support.  Many more people were instrumental in making this happen including Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anna F. Hunderfund, Director of Facilities and Operations, Henry Alilionis, Business Administrator Charles Delargy, Architect Renee Marcus, Custodian Al Wheeler and Corey Humphrey from the Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District.