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December 15, 1997

Local News

Water District receives grants from King County for educational projects


  King County Block Grant: $10,000 was received to install a demonstration garden at Woodmoor Elementary in the Northshore School District. The project will team Woodinville Water District, Northshore Utility District, Northshore School District, and many other businesses and agencies. Students from Northshore Junior High will work with students from Woodmoor to learn how the choices we make in landscape practices affect water quality and water quantity. Stenn Design, a landscaping company that specializes in water-efficient landscapes, designed the garden. The design includes an ET-based irrigation system that will allow irrigation to be controlled by weather conditions.
   Different soil preparations have been installed in each of three segmented areas within the demonstration garden. Containers will collect surface and subsurface water and students will compare water quality and quantity from each of three areas. Students will monitor the project and collect data. Dr. Rob Harrison, a professor at the University of Washington School of Forestry, will serve as an advisor to the project to ensure an accurate scientific study.
   Students at Northshore Junior High and Woodmoor Elementary will learn about weather, proper planting techniques, efficient irrigation practices and environmental consequences related to choices made in landscaping. Northshore Junior High students, under the leadership of science teacher, John Belcher, will develop a web page, garden signage, and present information to the school board and the water board. Curriculum will be developed for use in future years.
   The Northshore Citizen newspaper also awarded this project $1,000 in funding. Other agency involvement and donators/supporters include: Seattle Public Utilities, Advanced Irrigation, United Pipe and Supply, The Sweetbriar (nursery), Olympic Tree Farms, Cedar Grove Compost, GroCo, and King County's Master Recycler Composters. Many parents have offered to volunteer their time to assist as well.
   Woodinville Water District was awarded funds from King County's Watershed Action Grant program to demonstrate the benefits of compost to water quality and water quantity. Woodinville Water District's Public Information Coordinator, Deborah Rannfeldt, worked with Timbercrest Science Department Chair Ralph Davison to develop an educational project to provide students and staff information on how the choices we make in landscape practices affect water quality and quantity.
   University of Washington Soils Professor Rob Harrison became interested in the project and has joined in the effort by making the Timbercrest site an actual part of his ongoing research on this topic. Grant funds covered the installation of two kinds of compost during construction of Timbercrest, which opened this fall. The grant also covered the cost of providing the school with water quality test kits and curriculum materials on soil and water.
   Ninth grade biology students will work on this project, and their activities will include the collection of water quality data. They will also compare the health and growth rate of plant material in each of three different soil mediums; one unamended, one amended with Cedar Grove Compost and one amended with Gro-Co. Students will develop a web page about their project and will develop written and oral reports for the Northshore School District Board and Woodinville Water District's Board of Commissioners. For more information on this project, call Deborah Rannfeldt at 425-483-9104, ext. 302.