Several eco events are planned in the Green Teaching Garden at the College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab located at Fort Johnson. On Friday, March 16, the public is invited to attend a free workshop on rain garden installation from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, March 17, fourth and fifth graders from Harbor View Elementary School will paint rain barrels for water collection at the Grice Marine Lab.

Rain gardens make use of native plants and soil to manage storm water runoff. During the Workshop, a rain garden will be installed at Grice Marine Lab to educate participants about the importance of rain gardens, planning and garden design, and planting in coastal South Carolina. About 25 people are expected and registration is encouraged. The event is sponsored by the College of Charleston Office of Sustainability, the Marine Biology Graduate Student Assocaition, Grice Marine Lab, Clemson Cooperative Extension, Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium, and Carolina CLEAR.

On Saturday, March 17, the fourth and fifth grade students will be in the Green Teaching Garden from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. painting marine creatures on the rain barrels. Water collected in the barrels will be used to water the areas around the Grice Marine Lab and to feed and adjacent garden bed.

The Green Teaching Garden at Grice Marine Lab will officially open on April 7, 2012. It was created to provide opportunities for sustainable practices education and outreach at the College of Charleston and within the Charleston community. The Green Teaching Garden includes a primary rainwater collection system with a 1,500-gallon cistern, and a secondary system consisting of 8 rain barrels that serve the side porches at Grice Marine Lab. In addition to the newly installed rain garden, there are also four raised beds: a herb garden, perennial garden, vegetable garden, and a butterfly garden. A compost area is set up for residents living and working at Grice Marine Lab. Vegetables from the garden are donated to local homeless shelters and herbs are collected and dried for sale at Grice Marine Lab to benefit the student travel fund. The Marine Biology Graduate Student Association is leading the Green Teaching Garden project that is funded by the College of Charleston Office of Sustainability’s ECOllective fund.

For more information, contact Sammi Smoot, the Outreach Coordinator of the Marine Biology Graduate Student Association and the Green Teaching Garden at