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Eco-learning garden at Drew Charter School

Recently implemented, the learning garden at the progressive Drew Charter School in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta will provide opportunities for students to learn about sustainability, biodiversity, ecosystem function in every sesason.  The garden is located in the central courtyard of the school. Features of the learning garden include: (PHOTOS BELOW of meadow installation)

– a rain harvest system which stores water used to irrigate the plants; and cistern overflow directed into a retrofitted bioswale that infiltrates instead of draining into the storm sewer.  Bioswale planted with acorus and joe pye.  Water flowforms that convey the water from the roof downspouts to the cistern are being developed by local artist stakeholders.

– Edible and medicinal plants, such as elder, blueberry, pineapple guava, persimmon, comfrey, thyme and echinacea

– Plants that benefit birds and pollinators, such as winterberry holly, switchgrass, goldenrod and liatris

– A seasonal meadow with a multitude of ecosystem functions described in depth here

– Outdoor musical instruments will be designed and developed as a living project (evolving over time by continued student input), directed and facilitated by artist Jeff Mather

– A living willow sculpture will become an outdoor room sized for kids

Designed by Sustenance Design.  Implemented in partnership with Greenspace Innovations and the Rain Harvest Company

subsoiling

subsoiling

loosening compaction

loosening compaction

Drilling for the overflow pipe

Drilling for the overflow pipe

1500 perennial plant plugs wait for their new home

1500 perennial plant plugs wait for their new home

placing rocks is a burly and delicate operation

placing rocks is a burly and delicate operation

compost+granite sand+ existing soil= plant heaven

compost+granite sand+ existing soil= plant heaven

cross-section

cross-section

subsoiled earth looking loose

subsoiled earth looking loose

subsoiled and mixed... almost ready to plant

subsoiled and mixed… almost ready to plant

laying mulch before planting

laying mulch before planting

the pavers were not pervious; but subbed with 6in of concrete

the pavers were not pervious; but subbed with 6in of concrete

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retrofitted into the existing impervious cement, allowing for infiltration

retrofitted into the existing impervious cement, allowing for infiltration

more rocks

concept

concept

Not instant gratification. it will be 2-3 years before we see the realization of the meadow!

Not instant gratification. it will be 2-3 years before we see the realization of the meadow!

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5 Responses to “Eco-learning garden at Drew Charter School”

  1. Connie Cousins-Baker says:

    Love the update!

  2. Lisa M Cox says:

    As a Drew parent and an East Lake neighbor I am super excited about this project. THANK YOU and keep the updates coming.

  3. […]  We are implementing as many as possible!  One of our most recent meadow projects was the Drew Charter School Eco-Learning Courtyard.  Meadows are still considered ‘trial’ here as not many have done them.  They are […]

  4. alanna tookes says:

    in 5th grade we are doing a project on drew’s courtyard.And we are going to be touring people on pbl event night on the courtyard

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