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December 8, 2013

WEFTEC 2013 Volunteers help construct a rain garden at John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago

WEFTEC 2013 Volunteers help construct a rain garden at John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago Header Image

The WEFTEC® 2013 annual service project, “Reading, Writing, and Rain Gardens” event replaced pavement with green space at the John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago. Approximately 110 volunteers participated in the event.

The Water Environment Federation’s Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) organized this 6th annual service project to help reduce urban stormwater. On Oct. 5, volunteers helped remove a concrete layer subsurface; lay topsoil; plant 13 different types of grasses, flowering plants, shrubs, and trees; lay 28 stone pavers to form a walking path through the garden; pick up trash in the neighborhood; and add screen fencing to block litter from entering the playground. The school now has a 95 m2 (1,024 ft2) rain garden and an additional 93 m2 (1,000 ft2) of planted green space.

The volunteers helped remove a concrete layer subsurface; lay topsoil; place 13 different types of plants; lay stone pavers; pick up neighborhood trash; and add fencing for the project.

“It was amazing to see the volunteers work as a team to accomplish a complex construction project,” said Timothy Moran, SYPC community service project chair. “This event is important in demonstrating our profession’s commitment to the communities we serve. The rain garden will be a valuable tool for the school to teach its students to be stewards of the environment,” he added.

WEF volunteers also organized a Water Palooza educational event at the school where students learned about various water-related topics including the water cycle.

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