Portsmouth, RI – The Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD) will celebrate the grand opening of its Outdoor Learning Activity Zone at Melville Elementary School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 10 at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to explore this new community asset.
ERICD District Manager Sara Churgin said, “This outdoor learning activity zone acts as an outdoor classroom, allowing students to learn safely while adhering to social distancing protocols. Uniquely, anyone can enjoy this garden as it is fully handicapped accessible.
This project, completed in 2020, was made possible through a partnership between ERICD, Thrive Outside, Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Melville School.
The facility at Melville Elementary School in Portsmouth occupies one-third of the school’s backyard. Its design incorporates a rain garden, which collects polluted stormwater that would normally flow into Melville Pond, an integral water source in the Narragansett Bay watershed. Each year it will remove an average of 0.48 pounds of phosphorus, 0.33 pounds of zinc, and 4.28 pounds of nitrogen.