Michael Harthorne
Adams Elementary School students splash in their new rain garden at its debut April 30. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

SLIDESHOW: Adams celebrates new rain garden

The water coursing through Adams Elementary School's new rain garden may have been hose-supplied, but that didn't damped enthusiasm during the debut of the new runoff control system April 30.

The rain garden for the school at 6110 28th Ave. N.W. will help mitigate storm water and combines education and environmentalism, said David Minnery, who developed the conceptual design for the rain garden as a graduate student in landscape architecture.

The Adams rain garden takes rainwater from the school's two roofs and directs it into a cistern. From the cistern, the water travels down a concrete channel before being released into a garden that will absorb the water and remove pollutants.

As rain was conspicuously absent, water was fed into the cistern through a hose for the official debut of the rain garden. As the water coursed down the channel, Adams students crowded together to splash in the water and watch as it cascaded into the garden.

Minnery said it felt nice to see the students react when the water was turned on, as he always intended the rain garden to be interactive and a space for play.

"It's just amazing to see all those little hands interacting with it," he said.

Before the powering up of the rain garden, students read poetry ("I think the Adams rain garden is cool. The plans around it use it as a tool") and impressions ("It keeps water clean and reduces pollution in Puget Sound") about the rain garden.

Principal Anne Johnson used it as an opportunity to teach the students about pursuing their vision and ideas.

"This whole idea came from Mr. Minnery's brain," she said. "You never know when one of your ideas might turn into something real like Mr. Minnery's idea."

Johnson said the rain garden is a symbol of how Adams can work together as a school and community.

Minnery is the spouse of an Adams teacher. Guy Michaelsen, the landscape architect behind the final construction, is an Adams parent. Another Adams parent, Alison Krupnick, served as project manager. Adams students also gave input into the design.

The rain garden, which also includes a sitting area for outdoor classes, was funded through a King County Waterworks grant and matching funds from the Adams PTA.

Click the above image to see more photos from the debut of the Adams Elementary School rain garden.

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