Education: Southeast Coast

Ambitious Stormwater Project Completed at Wilmington School

A two-year effort to design and build six stormwater reduction projects at Bradley Creek Elementary School in Wilmington was completed in spring 2011. The network of rain gardens, bioretention areas and stormwater wetlands are helping to collect and treat over 100,000 gallons of runoff (each time it rains 1.5” or more) from the 19-acre school property, which is in the headwaters of Hewletts Creek. Though these projects are, in fact, LID projects, the entire third grade has been involved throughout the process and has been learning through hands-on activities. The work has been accompanied by classroom and field activities and includes maintenance activities by students and volunteers and educational opportunities for the community.

The school and the New Hanover Board of Education worked with the federation and numerous partners to entirely eliminate the first flush of polluted runoff when it rains on the school campus. Another goal of this multi-year plan is to demonstrate techniques that can be used to capture and treat stormwater at other schools, public buildings, communities and residences. The LID techniques will slow down and soak up the rainwater flowing off the paved areas and roofs at the school and remove bacteria and other pollutants before they reach nearby Hewletts Creek. These areas also provide students with living classrooms to learn about plants, soils, hydrology, pollution and local ecology.

Support for the project comes from the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District’s Community Conservation Assistance Program, Cape Fear Garden Club, Landfall Foundation, Wal-Mart, N.C. Attorney General’s Environmental Enhancement Grant Program, Wilmington’s Stormwater Services, N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation, the EPA's Five Star Grant Program and Work On Wilmington.

LID in Schools

  • Alderman Elementary School Rain Garden Project