Volunteers needed to help maintain school rain gardens

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8th grade Manteo MS rain garden at boardwalk. (Photo: NC Coastal Federation)

WILMINGTON (Press release) —  The North Carolina Coastal Federation is hosting rain garden maintenance volunteer days in Wilmington on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Alderman Elementary School and on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Bradley Creek Elementary School, both from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Volunteers will remove invasive plants, pull weeds, prune trees and spread mulch in the existing rain gardens and wetlands at the school. All project supplies and equipment as well as snacks and refreshments will be provided.

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These workdays are part of the Bradley and Hewletts Creeks Watershed Restoration Plan, which aims to reduce the amount of polluted runoff that makes its way into the creeks. Rain gardens and wetlands help filter polluted runoff, protecting water quality and preventing swim advisories and shellfish closures. Rain gardens and wetlands also help to reduce hazardous flooding and provide wildlife habitat.

“Stormwater is the number one polluter of our local waters,” said Jessica Gray, coastal outreach associate for the federation’s Wrightsville Beach office. “These rain gardens and wetlands help filter polluted stormwater but also serve as living classrooms that allow students to learn about water quality and what can be done to reduce stormwater pollution.”

The events are open to the public and are suitable for ages 8 and up. Volunteers should wear clothes that can get dirty and closed-toe shoes that cover the entire foot and can get wet and muddy. The federation has extra shoes and boots that volunteers can borrow if needed. Volunteers should also bring a rain coat, water bottle, sun protection and any medications they take. Snacks and lunch will be provided.



Alderman Elementary School is located at 2025 Independence Blvd. in Wilmington, and Bradley Creek Elementary School is located at 6211 Greenville Loop Road in Wilmington.