Students and volunteers to build a schoolyard habitat at IRHS


On Tuesday, April 29, students, teachers and community volunteers were set to come together to create a new schoolyard habitat at Indian River High School in Dagsboro.

The project began last fall, when about 25 students, teachers and volunteers from the Center for the Inland Bays met for a “Planning of Wetlands” workshop to plan the design for the wetland, the first phase of this “outdoor learning center.”

Last week, the students presented an assembly to share the project with the rest of the student body, and on April 29, all of the students were set to be part of an all-day “planting day” to plant 1,500 plants in and around the wetland. The work was planned to begin about 8 a.m., with the wetlands to be completed by about 4 p.m.

They will be joined by about 40 members of the South Coastal chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), and other volunteers from the Center for the Inland Bays.

The wetland will be located in the swale that runs in front of the school and will transform the site with native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. In addition to increasing the diversity of plant life at the school, the wetland will filter stormwater to re-charge groundwater.

According to the CIB, with the increased plant diversity will come more diversity of native birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other important pollinators. There will be bridges across the wetland, benches and pathways — providing an inviting place not just for wildlife but for students as well, and a place for outdoor learning for hands-on activities in science, math, writing and art.

This project is part of partnership established in the fall of 2006 between the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Indian River School district to bring Schoolyard Habitats to schools in the Inland Bays watershed.

For more information, contact Sally Boswell at 226-8105 or 448-9148 or by e-mail at outreach@inlandbays.org.