Student Outreach Project:
Rainwater Conservation and Water Quality Education:
Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, & Monarch Habitat
Olathe North High School, Olathe, KS
The Olathe North High School Geoscience Program has been conducting community outreach workshops on water quality and conservation issues for eight years and have reached thousands of residents through rain barrel and rain garden workshops developed and led by the students.
They also dug in to construct a rain garden, native plant demonstration, and butterfly garden, turning an unused space into beautiful landscaping and an educational resource. It collects rainwater from the surrounding sidewalk, showcases native Kansas prairie plants, and serves as a Monarch butterfly feeding station. Before and After photos of the garden are below.
The program teaches students science lessons on interrelationships between water quality, pollutants, water conservation, landscaping, and their impacts to butterflies, pollinators, and our food systems. By developing the workshops and teaching others the students also learn organizational, management, and presentation skills.
Financial support is provided by stormwater community education grants and through the volunteer support of professional experts in the community.