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March 4, 2013 (Jamul) – The water saving garden at Jamul Primary School has just been selected to receive a $5,000 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.  “Catch Our Rainwater!” is the next major project planned by school garden directors Lois Young and Cass Crain.

“Our goal is to provide an outdoor learning environment for children, and a model for the community of sustainable gardening practices for our dry climate,” says Ms. Young. “We’re on our way to a new level of water conservation.”

The school garden is a project of ARCHES, a local non-profit corporation dedicated to the cultivation of sustainability and community, working in cooperation with the Jamul-Dulzura Union School District. Thanks to the vision of the school board, a very active PTA, and local organizations and businesses who continue to offer support, school children experience an inviting, growing ecosystem. They observe complexities in nature as they participate in a wide variety of activities in the garden. Not only do they learn to plant, weed, harvest, and take care of the soil, they learn about many other subjects as well.  Teachers bring their classes to the garden to enhance science and math concepts, as well as writing and art lessons.

“We are extremely grateful to Lowe’s for their support of rainwater harvesting at our school,” says Ms. Young. With this grant from Lowes, a system will be put in place to harvest rainwater from the roofs of two classrooms adjacent to the school garden. Rain gutters will direct rainwater into a series of connected rain barrels, which will safely store the water for irrigation of the school garden. “This uncomplicated, user-friendly system could be duplicated by homeowners wishing to conserve water for gardening and landscaping purposes,” says Ms. Crain. “Community volunteers are already eager to assist with the endeavor. When it rains, it pours!”

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