The Rapidian Home

Sparta students take on rain gardens by storm

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Third graders and high school students from the Sparta school district partner to advocate for the preservation of native plants.
Planting native plants!

Planting native plants!

Students collaborating

Students collaborating

On a sunny October afternoon, third grade students from Appleview Elementary School in Sparta, Michigan partnered with high school students from Sparta High School to not only plant a native plant butterfly garden but also to film a public service announcement to advocate for the preservation of native plants. 

As a result of attending a service-learning training hosted by The LEAGUE Michigan, point teacher Sue Blackall developed this service-learning project idea and was awarded a grant from the Meijer Foundation to kickstart the project.  Blackall wanted to expand her impact with this project by collaborating with a high school class from Sparta High School and together the students created a butterfly garden in front of the Sparta High School.  Additionally, Blackall incorporated lessons about the ecosystem and evironmental stewardship into her curriculum. 

Recently, this project was nominated and awarded the Come Together Game Changer award from the Detroit Pistons foundation to continue developing service-learning initiatives in the Sparta School district. The students were awarded $500 to continue their service as well as tickets to a Pistons game. Additionally, Blackall was awarded a Sparta Education foundation grant for $1,600 and a Groundswell grant for $1,500 to support a rain garden that will be created at the Sparta Middle School in the spring of 2014. 

Blackall has developed a strong base for the growth of environmental education programing throughout the Sparta School District and plans to empower her students to take a active stance on the importance of native plants in our environment. 


The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.