Rainy days are looked forward to by the children at SPK now that their new rain garden area - complete with natural creek bed, hand pumps and tea tree branch cubby house are in action.
The rain garden uses a mix of soils and rocks, the natural landscape fall, rain water tanks and indigenous and native plantings to move, collect and use rain water from the kinder grounds and roof.
While the kinder reaps the benefits of collecting and using rain water sustainably to maintain plantings, avoid excessive water run off and flush toilets - the children are exploring and learning from the natural play space.
“We could see the advantages in the rain garden far beyond the rainwater use and aesthetic improvement to the Kinder,” says Summerhill Park Kindergarten director, Georgie Favaro.
“While the kinder has put a lot of thought into the planning and design of the rain garden, its biggest attraction has been the open-ended play opportunities.”
“From the start, the rain garden has brought the children together. They’re negotiating who takes turns at the pump or collects water in the buckets, sharing new discoveries with water, role playing with the cubby hours and being active in an unstructured outdoor environment.”
The rain garden was made possible through the hard work of kindergarten parent volunteer Suzie Hotchin, based on a design by landscaper Ryan Young and a grant from the State government of Victoria.