A group of students in Broken Arrow are trying to help the environment one plant at a time.
The City of Broken Arrow has partnered with Broken Arrow High School students for outdoor projects in the past, but this current outdoor classroom is the largest collaboration yet.
School leaders say this project is the largest floating wetland in Oklahoma.
The whole project was built by students, with support from the city.
This outdoor classroom is huge – 80 feet by 30 feet of wetlands, located at Tiger Creek Nature Park.
“Since we are a suburb, and it’s been developed, and people want to put fertilizer on the lawn,” said teacher Donna Gradel. “It’s a problem all around America and other developed countries that the run-off will bring all that fertilizer into your local bodies of water.”
Gradel says the floating wetland is made of plants native to Broken Arrow.
The plants are placed between piping and float on top of the water.
The hope is that the plants will absorb phosphates and nitrates from fertilizer run-off and add oxygen to the water.
“We are really fortunate because, in other parts of the state, they are slashing programs,” said Gradel. “Here in Broken Arrow, because we have the opportunity to partner with our city, we actually added this program.”
Teachers say they are hoping to expand this program in the years to come.