Education: Northeast Coast

Project at Nags Head Schools Aids Roanoke Sound

The Dare County School District received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection to reduce runoff from First Flight elementary, middle and high schools in Kill Devil Hills. And the district hired the federation to help.

During spring 2011, staff members identified potential stormwater-treatment sites at the three campuses. Pipes and ditches carry runoff from the schools directly into the ocean and Roanoke Sound. Almost 40 sites were identified where LID techniques such as rain gardens, wetlands and cisterns could be installed. The sites were then ranked according to their effectiveness, cost and the ease of installation. Robert McClendon, a landscape architect with the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute, helped develop the plan and provided the final map of top priority best-management (BMP) sites.

Federation staff  then worked with teachers at the middle school to plant a rain garden, funded by an  EPA restoration grant. A second rain garden, funded by Wal-Mart, was built at the elementary school in October 2011.

“The stormwater master plan has helped us decide which practices should be built first,” said Sara Hallas, the federation’s regional education coordinator. “We’re hoping that having a careful plan in place will help us attract more funding so we can get these BMPs in the ground.”

As with all federation projects, installation of the stormwater-control measures have a strong education component. They were planted by students, and Hallas gave classroom lessons on the need to reduce runoff to protect nearby waterways.

LID in Schools
  • Columbia Middle School, Tyrell County; rain garden created in 2009
  • First Flight Elementary School, Dare County; rain garden created in 2011
  • First Flight Middle School, Dare County; rain garden created in 2011
  • Kitty Hawk Elementary, Dare County; rain gardens created in 2009
  • Manteo High School, Dare County; rain garden created in 2009
  • Manteo Middle School, Dare County; rain gardens created in 2006