By Mary Stauble
Since 2011, Clean Air Carolina (CAC) has worked with the students of Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte, NC to grow and maintain an ozone garden. This garden has been a great tool for air quality education, as it demonstrates the harmful effects of ground-level ozone on plant (and human!) health.
After eight years of wear and tear, however, the wooden raised beds of the ozone garden were long overdue for an upgrade. So on April 4th, CAC partnered with Bank of America and Whitewater students on a 2019 EarthShare project to replace the raised beds and redesign them to allow for easier upkeep. Volunteers also improved a large pollinator garden at the school entrance.
It was a beautiful day for gardening, with temperatures in the low 70’s. Our team included fifteen Bank of America employees, twenty Whitewater students, and one officer. Following a short orientation and a talk about safety, we got to work! In the ozone garden folks removed rotting timbers, moved dirt and plants, and rebuilt three new raised beds.
Meanwhile, people near the school entrance were weeding, planting, watering, lifting up vines, and adding lots of mulch to prevent new weeds from growing. The day was full of activity, fun sharing, and great teamwork! Whitewater Middle School really appreciated getting help to improve their school grounds, and the end result looks amazing.
Many thanks to Bank of America for their commitment to our natural environment and public health! They were one of ten corporate EarthShare teams in Charlotte this year with over 150 volunteers participating. Clean Air Carolina is a proud member of EarthShare NC, a network that includes 28 North Carolina nonprofits and making meaningful connections with corporate partners and their employees.
If you are interested in starting your own ozone garden and would like to learn more, please see our Ozone Garden Toolkit.