Sunshine Hills Elementary is the latest school in Delta to turn eco-friendly and build a rain garden to help the environment while making students more conscious of their impact to the planet.
Grade 7 students spent Monday digging in the dirt and planting the seeds for such plants as berberis, potentilla and spiraea.
Mayor Lois Jackson came out to educate students on the corporation's initiative, which has already been started at six other schools.
"It really is a legacy," said Jackson, an avid gardener herself. "We've tried to teach the children about looking after our planet, looking after our community and our trees.
"One of the biggest reasons we're doing the gardens is we're encouraging people to do this in their own yards."
Rain gardens are designed to capture rain water from such areas as roofs, parking lots and streets to help cleanse it while creating colourful and environmentally sustained plant life.
"The water comes roaring down through these pipes down to the bottom of the hill over here," said Jackson outside the school. "It picks up all the dirt off the roads, particularly grease and oil.
"This way, when the water comes down, it's cleansed and it provides a filter and slows the water down as it's going down to the river."
To date, the Sunshine Hills rain garden is the largest of the seven built at elementary schools in Delta. The other schools involved include Annieville, Chalmers, Gibson, Heath and Richardson Elementary schools.
"The first one we built was on Lyon Road at Cougar Canyon Elementary - that was 2006," said Sarah Howie, a landscape architect for the corporation of Delta who has played a significant role in the design of every school rain garden.
Josh Wilson, 12, spent the morning helping out with the rain garden and learning about how it benefits the environment.
"What happens is the rain goes into the soil and it actually creates creeks and forests, so it really helps out the animals and the fish," he said.
Alexa Mortimer, 12, also planted in the rain garden and enjoyed learning about the types of plants that will be growing outside her school.
"Our class dug the mugo pine and it's going to help with the environment," she said. "It's an evergreen plant, so it stays green for the whole year."
Jackson said she is hopeful the students will carry this knowledge of the environment off school property and develop a love of gardening into their adult lives.
"We hope they carry these through the years and be like little Johnny Appleseed and go out and plant trees," she said.
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