St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran VBS builds a rain garden
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS The Vacation Bible School class at St. Paul's Church, Albrightsville built a rain garden to collect runoff from the road.
Water from Old Stage Road, Kidder Township, flooded the grove that surrounds the pavilion across from the church. The Vacation Bible School students did something about it the last week of July.
Sara Mass said a mission project is always part of the Vacation Bible School program. She was coordinating the VBS and had experience with rain gardens at the Penn-Kidder School.
Beautification became the mission project for 2010. In addition to the rain garden children decorated planters and planted flowers around the property. Painted CDs became suncatchers. Bird feeders and birdhouses were painted. All materials were donated by members of the congregation.
"A rain garden collects water in a low-lying area. It acts as a sponge. The water may be there for a day and infiltrates into the ground," said Mass.
The shape of the rain garden is designed to hold the water with a high berm on the backside. People brought plants from home, which help stablilize the area.
Mass said Jim Smith of Smith Family Partnerships did the grading and the Kidder Township Environmental Advisory Council provided information.
The Smith Family has native plants in Hazelton and provided some for the rain garden.
"They are plants that will take impurities out of the water. The plants are like filtration systems and remove the 'yuck' that comes off the road," Mass said.
She said they found puddles and areas of mud because the road is lower on the grove side. It was easy to see where the water came in. They were busy digging holes, moving mulch and planting.
Twenty-six young students participated with 11 teenagers and 11 adults helping with Vacation Bible School.
"It's not just our church. People came from St. Peter the Fisherman and Our Lady Queen of Peace," Mass said.
Dara Conte, one of the teen helpers, said she has been coming four years because she enjoys it so much.
Maille Galvin and Heather Sherrill put planting the rain garden at the top of the list of things they liked about VBS. In connection with that they learned about a rain forest. Painting and playing games were next on their list.
It was the teen helpers who shared information about the rain forest.
Participating were Lauren Bos, Brielle Long, Maille Galvin, Heather Sherrill, Kaitlyn O'Neil, Rhiannon Berger, David Scherrill, Taylor Kellar, Ella Farnell, Mason Farnell, Danny Eggert, Dominic Berger, Alan Dent, Harper Risch, Sarah Bell, Leah George, Ginny George, Hannah Bell and some who were not available for the picture.