Although we do not have the same resources as the middle or intermediate schools, the Durant High School Green Team has made multiple accomplishments throughout the past few months. Not only did we help with the Sustainable Fashion Show in November, which was a great success, we also played a leading role in rehabilitating the pond in the DIS outdoor classroom.
The large amount of upkeep needed to take care of the pond was not something that would be achievable in the future. The plastic liner had become leaky, and it wasn’t sustainable to keep adding water. However, we did not want to get rid of the pond completely because it’s so important to DIS students, so we decided to make it more manageable by replacing the liner.
We first removed the larger rocks surrounding the pond and the small bridge that had become dilapidated. Then, we took the fish living in it out and transferred them into two tanks with aerators and drained the water from the pond. The aerators were special, however, because they were the first technology to be powered by renewable energy (solar) in our school district. And now the larger permanent aerator for the pond is also powered by solar. This is a small, but important achievement in making our schools more sustainable.
After draining the water, we pulled out the plastic liner. (We had some help from a work crew from Commercial Metals Company (CMC) to get the liner out completely.) Not long after that, we tilled clay into the pond bottom and sides to create a clay liner, which is a natural, long-term solution. We then refilled the pond and released the fish. Now, the new pond will be easier to take care of for the long-term future. After months of hard work along with the help of community partners, the DHS Green Team was able to ensure that DIS will keep its pond!
We also want to point out that many of the DIS Green Team students and the DIS custodian (Mr. Darrell) also played important roles in the pond rehabilitation project. Overall, we feel it has been a successful year!