LIMA — The University of Northwestern Ohio’s FFA Chapter is the recipient of a $2,000 environmental grant. The Living to Serve: Environmental Grants are sponsored by CSX and Bayer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
The funds will be used to build a rain garden in the drainage depression between Racers Village Dorms and the 1000 (Administration) building on the west end of the UNOH campus. The purpose of a rain garden is to improve the water quality in nearby bodies of water. The target for the UNOH rain garden is Dug Run, a tributary of the Ottawa River. Members of the UNOH FFA Chapter will be working on constructing the rain garden as part of their service work for the 2015-2016 school year. The students involved will not only learn about the function of a rain garden and how to construct one, but how to collate, interpret, and draw conclusions from water quality data that will be measured along Dug Run. The garden will need light maintenance year-round which will be handled by FFA chapter members.
The UNOH FFA Chapter applied for the funds in May, 2015. To apply for the grant, the FFA chapter members had to submit descriptions of the project itself, of the environmental need that will be addressed, of the community partners involved and their roles, of the educational outreach that the chapter will include as part of the project, and of the measurable outcomes and evaluation tools of the project. Submission materials also included a timeline of activities that will take place, and a budget narrative.
The Chapter members hope to have the rain garden constructed by October 2015.