Restoration at The Miquon School

Just a few weekends ago, Refugia worked alongside the enthusiastic parent and student volunteers at The Miquon School to make headway on proposed woodland and stream bank restoration projects. The school’s campus lies in a beautiful, tree-filled space that creates and encourages opportunities in outdoor play for young learners. These spaces can be designed and maintained to complement the school’s curriculum, supporting students’ freedom to roam, interact, and learn from nature, encouraging stewardship for many years to come.

At Miquon, restoring the riparian zone along the stream behind the school buildings is a priority. In large storms and flooding events, water runs across non-permeable surfaces of roads and parking lots, carrying pollutants into local waterways. This stormwater also strips away soil and wildlife habitats as it surges through stream beds. By replanting the slopes along the stream at The Miquon School with native, facultative wetland species such as: Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea), Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and River Birch (Betula nigra), Refugia seeks to establish a soil-stabilizing, stormwater-absorbing plant community. This will reduce stormwater’s power against the stream bed, thus reducing pollution and erosion, and maintaining the students’ natural playground downstream.

Students and faculty have likely already noticed the flowering pollinator gardens planted along the school’s paths and buildings. These gardens are full of Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa), Blue Wood Asters (Symphyotrichum cordifolium), and Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Refugia chose eye catching, native plant species best adapted to the local climate and soil conditions to attract nearby pollinators. These pollinator gardens will serve as a haven for wildlife and are good examples of native plant communities that exist in meadow ecosystems and woodland edges.

In addition to planting along pathways and the stream bank, Refugia and the many volunteers also removed invasive species from the woodland. By removing invasive species, Refugia aims to give native plant species the space and resources they need to thrive and establish strong, resilient plant communities.

Refugia’s work at The Miquon School is an exciting project in restoration, education, landscape design, and sustainability. We are so glad that the volunteer event was such a success thanks to the many parent and student volunteers, partners at The Miquon School, and the cooperative weather! It will be a pleasure to continue working to fulfill the landscape goals on campus and keep these educational spaces vibrant, green, and healthy.

On Saturday, October 22, The Miquon School will be celebrating the Creek Restoration Project’s progress with live poetry and music on campus from 1pm to 4pm. The event is for children and adults, and will be a great opportunity to take a look around the new landscapes and enjoy some live entertainment.