Join Us to Build a Rain Garden at SCS This Summer to Protect Lake Champlain Water Quality!

Students, parents, volunteers! Join us this summer to plant and water a rain garden at SCS! Construction will be completed the week after school lets out, June 17-21, with planting happening early the next week, June 24.  Plant watering will be needed throughout the summer.  Lewis Creek Association is also accepting donations to help purchase the plants to be used in the raingarden.

·        Problem: McCabe’s Brook and the Town of Shelburne are listed as Stormwater Impaired. Action is critical to retract impairment.

·        Explanation: Stormwater runoff from SCS roofs and pavement runs, unfiltered, directly through drains and pipes into McCabe’s Brook, and this runoff is high in nutrients and pollutants that contribute to the growth of algae, which can cause fish and native plant die-off in Shelburne Bay.

·        Solution: SCS students worked with Lewis Creek Association (LCA), water resource engineers and school staff to identify the center island as the ideal spot for a raingarden. The raingarden will absorb and filter stormwater runoff before it enters McCabe’s Brook, then Shelburne Bay.

·        To volunteer, contact Kate Kelly of LCA at or 802-488-5203

·        To donate towards plant purchase, make a donation at our website (, under “Take Action”, and in the Additional Information field, type SCS Raingarden)

Following the last day of school, a bioretention area, also known as a raingarden, will be constructed outside the school entrance in the center island.  This grassy area will be transformed into a depression filled with attractive plants to filter pollution out of stormwater before it gets to McCabe’s Brook.  Local volunteers will help plant and water the garden over the summer.  Because this rain garden is highly visible, it is an ideal demonstration site for both students, parents, and community members to learn from and consider management practices for their own properties.  LCA is excited to have this important project nearing completion! 

SCS Center Island where the rain garden will be constructed

SCS Center Island where the rain garden will be constructed

This project is part of Lewis Creek Association’s “Ahead of the Storm” (AOTS) project, which grew from concern of Charlotte, Hinesburg, and Shelburne citizens about the serious decline of Lake Champlain's health. Stormwater runoff from driveways, fields, parking areas, and lawns is a major factor in the deterioration of the lake’s water quality. AOTS helps communities change the way stormwater is managed on properties to reduce water pollution from extreme weather events. Fourteen municipal, commercial, and private properties have been selected to become demonstration sites to showcase more optimal conservation practices in a variety of landscape settings. 

For more information on the Ahead of the Storm Program, visit  Training volunteers and teachers to learn and teach about stormwater management will be happening this summer, as well. If you are interested in helping plant or water the raingarden this summer, or learning and teaching about stormwater later in the summer, please reach out to Kate Kelly, Program Coordinator for Lewis Creek Association, at

This project was funded by two agreements awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency and by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.