Middle school students build water supply for local community garden

ABINGDON, VA (WJHL)- A group of Southwest Virginia middle school students have solved a big need for one local community.

After countless hours of hard work, a group of boys from E.B. Stanley Middle School has figured out how to give Abingdon’s community garden a free, clean, and sustainable water source.

“The biggest problem we had was getting water out to the garden plots themselves so this year the great need was a useful and reliable water source,” E.B. Stanley Middle School parent Tom McMullen said.

Now these boys, with the help of some experts, have figured out a way to provide just that.

“We’re taking water off a 2,000 square-foot roof which leaves about 1,000 gallons per every inch of rain,” Connor Barton, eight grade student at E.B. Stanley Middle School said.

The system pumps the water off the roof, in to a tank, and in to the garden.

“This is a much cheaper and more efficient way and the water is much cleaner because it’s not coming out of the tap,” Barton said. “There was lots of hard work out in the sun, getting sunburned, and sweating hard.”

And once they finally saw the system they helped build come to life, “My favorite part was getting to hook up the water hoses and finally getting to see that it would work after all the hard work we had put in,” Sage Rock, eight grade student at E.B. Stanley Middle School said.

“The boys were jumping up-and-down cheering that kind of thing it was pretty exciting,” McMullen said.

“I guess it was like when you have a kid and you see it grow up,” Barton said with a laugh.

And now these boys are hoping what they learned serves them for years to come.

“All four of the boys are interested in engineering so that should be really good for them in the future I think,” McMullen said.

“Construction fundamentals and how to build and make a gutter, it’ll really help me out later in life,” Barton said.

The boys are a part of the Technology Student Association E.B. Stanley Middle School in Abingdon. Their work on this project landed these students third place in a state competition and now they head to Florida to compete against other teams across the nation.

The community garden in Abingdon is open to all Washington County, Virginia residents, and now thanks in part to this water system, the plots are cheaper. If you want to claim your plot this year they are down to $25.To learn more about the community garden or to apply for a garden plot, you can call 276-628-3167.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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