Sullivan High School’s Rain Garden: Still in Progress


By: Hajir Hasan, Sullivan Sophomore

The Sullivan Rain Garden’s first installment is planted. Earlier this fall on September 17, 2021, Sullivan students and staff collaborated with experts from JLL construction and planted shrubs in front of the school at 6631 North Bosworth Ave.

The team is planting a rain garden to beautify the space and create environmental benefits. Ahead of time, students co-created the garden landscape by selecting plants and deciding on their placement. Members of the Sullivan team contributed their insight on the project work so far.

Noe Torres, a social worker at Sullivan and project co-coordinator, shared about the garden project. 

“The Sullivan Rain Garden was conceived by Carmen Vidal-Hallett. She is an accomplished individual in promoting and designing environmental building initiatives locally and internationally. She approached us because she had sponsors and volunteers who offered to build a rain garden with local plants that would become self-sustaining. She brought a group of experts to teach our students about local flowers, plants, and grasses that were typical of this part of the country. “

Students are actively taking part in Sullivan history. Tunmise Alonge, a Sullivan sophomore, shared why he participated in the project.

 “I wanted my name to be left behind when I leave Sullivan and what is better than helping build the rain garden. I was also doing the World Repair Project and my subject was on the poor state of the different water sources in India so I wanted to ask the people on the situation as they experience the matter.”

To add to that, Torres also said, “We agreed to build it because it was a worthwhile effort to raise environmental issues, help provide hands-on experience to biology students on ecosystems, and to give our entire school community an opportunity to celebrate our school.”

This project had a successful turn out in the end, as it also continues to have numerous environmental advantages.  

Anna Kordek, a biology teacher at Sullivan and project co-coordinator, said, “It is an opportunity for students to learn about the science behind rain gardens and how they benefit urban environments especially in the wake of climate change.”

The project team will continue the second installment by planting flowers in spring 2022.


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