Raining Classrooms at the Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School

What is polluted runoff?

Parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed contain a high percentage of impervious cover – paved or other hard surfaces such as roofs and roadways that prevent rain water from being absorbed into the ground.  Instead, water runs along these surfaces, collecting trash and substances such as motor oil, lawn fertilizers, and pesticides.  This polluted stormwater flows into streams and rivers, where it threatens aquatic ecosystems and public health.

Effective stormwater management, on the other hand, creates safe paths for polluted runoff to be captured and filtered through the ground before it reaches waterways.  This helps keep the environment clean and our communities healthy!

bioretention / rain gardens
before image
Rain events caused flooding on front lawn, driveway, and building entrance, creating dangerous conditions. Credit: Cacapon Institute
after image
The completed project. Rain garden planted with native plantings and capturing rain water. Credit: Cacapon Institute


Project location: Clear Spring, MD

Problem:  Water runoff from storm events collected in pools on the road and driveway in front of the Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School, causing flooding in the summer and dangerous icy conditions in the winter. A $10,000 under-road culvert was proposed as a solution, but was beyond the school budget. 

Solution:  Through a $5,000 grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and CB Trust, 24 teachers were transported to the school site for training events on the importance of addressing stormwater before it reaches nearby waterways. A rain garden installed in front of the school now diverts runoff from 90% of all rain events. Additionally, the rain garden serves as a teaching tool for many of the school’s outdoor education programs, which are attended by children from Washington County Public Schools. 

Cost:  $5,000

Contact Information
Eddie Waldron | Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School | 301-766-8138
Frank Rodgers | Cacapon Institute | frodgers@cacaponinstitute.org
Key project facts
Project Type
Project Scale
< $10,000
Story Focus
Cost Efficiency
Environmental Benefits
Community Engagement
Stormwater Funds
Problem Addressed
Flooding / Drainage
Health Hazard
Year Installed