Lawton Middle School, Village of Lawton, Van Buren County
In the spring of 2006, a rain garden was incorporated into the catch basin at Lawton Middle School to capture overflow from the collection lake and the runoff-water from the parking lots of the high school and middle school. Persistent flooding was occurring at the site and the idea of incorporating a rain garden was implemented.
Through a grant from the Kellogg Biological Station K-12 Program and Michigan State University, the school was able to obtain funds to purchase the plants needed for the garden.
The dedication of the science students in grades 6-8th, Mrs. Angle, Mr. VanWeelden, Mary Ann Menke and numerous volunteers helped to bring the middle school wetlands curriculum alive for its students.
The purpose of utilizing this form of Low Impact Development was to help establish plants with root systems that would help leech the water out of the collection area and gather pollutants from the run-off water itself.
Why Use Native Plants?
Planting natives in your landscape helps provide habitat for local wildlife. Native plants are great helpers for protecting water quality in your neighborhood. The deep roots of many established native plants increase the ability of soil to hold water. These fantastic roots create deep channels in the soil for rain to soak into. Some of the roots die each year, and new roots grow. The decomposing roots enrich soil, making it more fertile and absorbent. The root systems also hold soil together and help prevent erosion.