Changing the path

Changing the path

Maddie Karas

Students work in unison passing rocks along a line to place them along the creek.

A group of AP environmental Science students take initiative to stop erosion around the creek.

The creek in front of the school symbolizes the crossing over from the real world back to school, both figuratively and literally.

However, the construction around the creek has quickened the erosion of the land around the creek.

“The problem with the creek was that it was flowing too fast, causing too much erosion,” Ashley Longrie (11) said. “This threatened the parking lot and the bus lane in particular. If we didn’t stop it we could have eventually lost the bus lane altogether.”

In order to stop the erosion, a group of eight AP Environmental Science students including Nicole Breer, Julia Brose, Kasey Fleming, Kyle Gardner,  Evan Hosna, Ashley Longrie, Ben Perry(11) and Lorenzo Augas (12) decided to start a project to fix the problem. “I think it’s wonderful anytime students put time effort and service into their community and school,” Mr. Dan Thoman, senior class principal, said. “It’s a fantastic effort.”

The team had a tough path with many steps ahead of them as they attempted to complete their project.

“We worked with Missouri Department of Conservation, the Army Corp of Engineers and Rockwood Maintenance. They had the excavation completed and then Rockwood provided us with rock,” Mrs. Diane Johnson, AP Environmental Science teacher, said. “Then we placed the rock and were able to get trees from forest releaf.”

Once the Rockwood Maintenance team finished excavation they handed the work over to the students. Over the past two weeks these students worked to place 29 tons of rock into place along the banks of the creek.

“We added large rocks, called rib rap, to where the creek used to be in order to slow down the water and stop erosion,” Hosna said.

The goal of the work was to slow the creek down to a more natural speed causing much less erosion and drastically calming the stream.

In addition to the rocks slowing down the flow of the creek the team also planted 215 trees to do the same.

Not only did these students take initiative to help make the school look better and save the parking lot, they also saved the district a ton of money by leading a school project.

Having the project run by students saved the district roughly $1,500, according to Mr. Chris Fuend, grounds service coordinator for the Rockwood School District. Even greater, the project saved the district between $10,000 and $20,000 by stopping the erosion from destroying the bus lane, Fuend said.

Before these students took initiative to save the bus lane the creek that symbolizes the transition to school had been a hazard to both the bus lane and the eyes of those who crossed it. Now after many hours of hard work the bus lane is safe and the transition to school is peaceful.