School to use problem area of field to build rain garden

École Mt. Prevost has been given permission to go ahead with a rain garden project on school property.

École Mt. Prevost has been given permission to go ahead with a rain garden project on school property.

The idea, which comes from the school’s parent advisory council (PAC), is to both provide a useful and educational asset for the site and, at the same time, repurpose an area of the field that has been a problem to supervise and to maintain.

They first presented the idea to the board of education in June and, after investigation, trustees, given three proposed options, chose to approve the middle road, picking option two.

It will involve a stream that runs along one corner of the field, landscaping part of the garden with pebbles and introducing no-maintenance wetland plants to naturalize.

An impassable thicket of willow hedge will be planted as a barrier to reduce erosion on the steep bank and “lessen access for risk-seeking children to an area where they are not currently visible to school staff,” PAC member Petronella Van Oyen said in her submission to the board.

The entire garden project will be paid for by a donation of up to $6,205 from the Cowichan Land Trust. The garden will not encroach on the soccer field; rain garden enthusiasts are expected to volunteer in the garden, reducing the risk of vandalism and littering “by creating a regular positive presence” on the school grounds.