By: Jim Fedders
The current phase of the Woodrow Wilson Wetland Restoration was wrapped up this summer. The project was undertaken to reduce fecal bacteria contamination from entering our watershed from the over abundance of geese on the school campus in and around the ageing pond. The site is now a flourishing wetland supporting abundant wetland plant and animal species and few geese. Instead of being a source of bacterial contamination the wetland now acts as a filter to clean the water as it moves through the site toward nearby Cranberry Creek.
Although most of the project was completed last year we were able to finish up the current phase of the project this spring and summer. An Earth-Day event in late April brought over 35 girl scouts with their leaders and parents to the project. The girls helped plant over 900 live-stake trees and shrubs in the wetland and 10 large trees on the surrounding school grounds. The scouts also visited educational stations to learn about the water cycle, wetlands, water pollution, and ‘Leave No Trace’ environmental principles. The scouts did a great job and learned a lot from the many incredible volunteers that helped with this event.
Girl Scouts enjoy planting trees and learning about our environment at the Earth Day event in April at the Woodrow Wilson High School Wetland project.
Grants from the WV Department of Environmental Protection and the Beckley Area Foundation along with tremendous volunteer help from local organizations and individuals have allowed the project to get this far. Two amazing Woodrow Wilson Sophomore students have further plans to enhance the educational aspects of the project. Ram Asaithambi and Thomas Spencer have begun a campaign to fund a boardwalk and outdoor classroom on the wetland. Their hard work has resulted in over $40,000 in donations from the Raleigh County Board of Education, the West Viginia General Revenue Fund, Beckley Rotary Club and other sources. Final design plans are scheduled to be developed this winter with construction occurring next summer. Stay tuned for the exciting, continued development at this project. Please consider making a donation to support these students and this unique addition to the campus. Way to go guys!!
Students, Ram Asaithambi and Thomas Spencer, receive certificate recognizing their fund-raising accomplishments and a donation of $10,000 from the Raleigh County Board of Education for a boardwalk at the Woodrow Wilson Wetland.