Every year Friends of the Rappahannock works with local partners to design and install a variety of restoration projects throughout the Rappahannock River watershed.  So far in 2015, the majority of our restoration projects have been a part of our Student Stream Team program.  This project spotlight showcases a series of rain garden projects in Orange County, Virginia with several classes of Locust Grove Middle School science students.  Thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and funding from the Dominion Foundation, FOR was able to partner with these students on three amazing projects.  

1) FOR worked with Lake of the Woods Association and students to perform maintenance on a Rainscape Retrofit project from 2014 located at Sweetbriar Park.  We removed garbage and debris, repaired riprap, added mulch, planted over 150 native grasses, perennials, and shrubs, and got the “dirt” on how a rain garden works.  

2) FOR went to Locust Grove Middle School to install two rain gardens on their campus.  Science teacher Mr. Vanrooy worked with his students to locate two areas in the school’s courtyard that is always saturated for extended periods of time following rain events, and leads directly to two stormwater drains.  We were able to overcome some very unique obstacles (like driving the backhoe through the school cafeteria) to make this project happen and what an amazing success!  Three classes of students joined FOR staff and volunteers to install two amazing rain gardens that will treat stormwater runoff before it enters the Rapidan River and then the Rappahannock River.  Additionally, the plants selected for the project were all native to the region and will provide valuable benefits to the wildlife of the region.  

Please contact Bryan Hofmann with any questions about this and other projects.

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