Chloe Boekher, a Bainbridge High School student, loves Puget Sound and wanted to take action to protect it.  But so many programs and events this summer were being canceled, and she wondered how she could still create positive change under the difficult conditions we are facing with Covid. Chloe’s cousin from Texas was planning to spend part of the summer on Bainbridge, and also was interested in environmental issues.

The young women worked with Todd Vogel, an Island resident who recently completed a Living Building Challenge home restoration that incorporates many of the Low Impact Development techniques that help protect our watersheds.  Together they created a safe, socially-distanced outdoor project with several additional students to learn more about the Island’s environment and the Sound. The self-designed course included several speakers, including the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council’s chair, Deb Rudnick, to teach the students about local ecology, watersheds, and ways in which we can work to steward our Island’s water quality and natural resources.

The students then worked together to create a rain garden at Hyla, where Chloe had attended middle school, bringing together their accumulated knowledge about the island’s geology, aquatic biology, and its built environment. Hyla can now use the documentation created (Chloe’s book and an illustrated sign on site by Lauren Heinzelman) in Hyla classes.

Not only did the students successfully complete their raingarden, but they also created a beautiful report to document their work. You can read their report by clicking on the cover image to the left. Congratulations, Chloe and classmates, on a creative and important project to protect our watershed’s health!