• Fifth-graders Mykayela Rodriguez, left, and Janaysha Miller use spades to help with the planting at Mulick Park School
  • It’s a small plant, but fifth-grader Marshae Buggs makes sure to embed it firmly with help from Groundswell’s Joanna Allerhand
  • Fifth-grader Tamarion Mapp hands a spade to classmate Mykayela Rodriguez
  • Groundswell Assistant Director Joanna Allerhand shows fifth-grader Mykayela Rodriguez how to place a plant in the dirt
  • Fourth-grader Amonari Slack seems to enjoy her work as she brings a plant to the planting area
  • Principal Lisa Minnella watches approvingly as fourth-grader Orrangel Santos cheers “I planted it!”
  • Rebecca Marquardt, a Groundswell landscape architect, gives planting tips to, from left, fourth-graders Jaheem Brown, Orrangel Santos and Elijah Jones
  • Fifth-grader Tashiyah Hooks is intent on her work
  • Fourth-grader Keymarea Brown completes her planting with great care
  • Fourth-grader Nola Degroft concentrates on her work
  • Fourth-grader Laniya Elliot does some serious digging

Planting Their Little Patch of Green

Students Join with Groundswell to Slow Down Erosion

by Dianne Carroll Burdick  

The grounds around Mulick Park Elementary School have serious erosion issues, to the point of their storm drains being clogged with sediment. That problem sent students into action shortly before school let out, planting Michigan native plants to slow down stormwater runoff and soak it up with the plants' long, extensive root systems. They hope to continue work towards this goal next school year as well. The project was undertaken with the support of Groundswell, a Grand Valley State University program that offers grants to schools for place-based learning projects to protect water quality in the Grand River and Great Lakes.

Fourth-graders Amonari Slack, left, and Tamar Lowe work alongside Groundswell staffers

Planting can be fun, as shown by (from left) fourth-graders Promise Eppinger, Ari Browley, Ohnestee Hooks and Sonea Hernandez

In Mulick Park’s urban neighborhood, fourth-graders Nola Degroft, left, and Laniya Elliot do their part for nature

L-R: Groundswell Assistant Director Joanna Allerhand, left and project assistant David Kraff work with Cameron Earvin, foreground, and Sonea Hernandez

Tamar Lowe, in red shirt, and Marshae Buggs watch Rebecca Marquardt dig with an electric bulb auger tool

Fourth-grade teacher Lainey Bryde pitches in with students (from left) Tashiyah Hooks, Joshua Ivy and Dan Lagulu

Fifth-graders Tashiyah Hooks, left, and Vanessa Hemmes carefully embed plants that will help slow down stormwater runoff

Groundswell landscape architect Rebecca Marquardt demonstrates proper planting technique to, from left, Saniyah Blakeley, Marshae Buggs and Nola Degroft

Plants await planting by Mulick Park fourth- and fifth-graders, assisted by Groundswell staff

Kneeling to plant Michigan native plants are, from left, Anaya Ridley, Kamrari Jones, Saniyah Blakeley and Naji Taylor, with help from fourth-grade teacher Lainey Bryde

Submitted on: June 20th 2017

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