(Hampden Township, PA) 140 Kindergarten and First-grade students put the finishing touches on Sporting Hill Elementary School’s beautiful new Delta Garden. The planting culminates a project that has been two years in the making and included the entire school community- teachers, parents and facility staff.

“Sporting Hill and Cumberland Valley will benefit from being direct participants in this partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay,” said Heidi Graci. “We can use this environmental laboratory to inspire our students to become future biologists, wildlife conservationists, and environmental stewards of our commonwealth.”

The garden was designed with the input of teachers, students and those facility staff who are now responsible for its maintenance. Stone walkways emulate a flowing river when it rains, but provide a walking surface for youngsters to view plants and insects when it is dry.

“The rain garden, is a multi-sensory, three dimensional, hands-on, authentic tool for teaching environmental education,” said Heidi Graci, kindergarten teacher. “Children learn best through experiences. As a teacher, I am looking forward to utilizing this unique learning tool to teach many of the Pennsylvania and National Science Standards.”