Title: Rain Garden


Benefits and Reasoning:


Within the Illinois Sustainable School Compact sponsored by Governor Pat Quinn: “a rain garden is a garden planted in a low-lying area where water naturally pools or is directed from downspouts. Rain gardens are designed to include deep soil or mulch and contain native plants whose deep roots quickly absorb large amounts of storm water runoff and naturally filter pollutants. Planting a rain garden is an inexpensive way to conserve water resources, reduce flooding, increase groundwater recharge, and provide habitat for native wildlife – all while serving as an excellent teaching tool.”


According to the Highland Park Stormwater brochure published by the Highland Park City Council, Highland Park Lakefront Commission, and the Highland Park Environmental Commission: “rain gardens are depressed areas landscaped with native plants, species that have evolved naturally and adapted to local conditions, that soak up stormwater runoff collected from impervious surfaces such as roofs, decks and patios. Rain gardens naturally filter water and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that is channeled into the City’s storm sewers. When installed properly, rain gardens drain within hours of a rain event (mosquitoes need not be a concern as they require 7 to 12 days to lay and hatch eggs).”


Elm Place’s Rain Garden Proposal:


Elm Place will build a rain garden to illustrate the environmental benefits of such a garden and will display this act of being green while working as a class.


Location: Elm Place Middle School; southeast corner; located outside the library alcove in the front of the School.


Necessary Equipment: Shovels, hoes, other gardening equipment


Plants: Native Illinois Plants; we are contacting various companies for the purchase of these plants


Labor: Students will aid in the planning and planting of the rain garden.


Total Cost: Unknown


Time: Planting will occur in May 2009 on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.


Constitutionality: There are no constitutional violations with this policy.


Influential individuals who would support our plan: Mayor Belsky and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn – both of these individuals support green school policies and if we are able to convince them that our idea will be beneficial to the environment and to our schools we believe they would support our plan.


Influential individuals who would oppose our plan: Taxpayers – because of the cost of our plan we may find those who are asked to pay the bill to oppose our plan.