An idea created with legos turned to reality for fifth graders from Skinner North Elementary School's Classical First Lego League Girls Lego Robotics Team during Central States Water Environment Association's (CSWEA) annual conference. Donohue's Natalie Cook led a team of CSWEA and school volunteers to build a rain garden that captures stormwater and prevents flooding at the Chicago school's playground.
The robotics team designed the project with logos while learning about stormwater and observing flooding on their own playground. The project included backfilling the raingarden with gravel and topsoil to create underground water storage, and planting native species that can sustain growth with wet soil and uptake water. The project was made possible through generous support by CSWEA members and community partners.
“When our team first came up with the project idea, we wanted to make it a reality but didn’t know how that would happen. Working with Julia Bunn of Spirited Gardener, and Natalie Cook, a local wastewater engineer, was an amazing experience and they taught us so much along the way. They helped us see that even a kids’ idea can benefit the whole City of Chicago. Now our idea is a dream come true,” said one team member.