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2016, Alexandria, VA, USA

George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, VA found nitrate levels in the Potomac River were twice the normal level, putting organisms in the environment at risk. Upon further research and after surveying members of the community, the students found that the major cause of high phosphate and nitrate levels in the Potomac is improper application of fertilizer.

The students partnered with Greenstreet Gardens, a local garden shop, to educate community members. They created an addendum to an existing Greenstreet Gardens class to include a segment on proper fertilizer usage. They strongly believe that public education is the key to reducing the nitrate levels of the Potomac River, realizing that many people simply use the tool incorrectly. The students are advertising the classes and incentivizing attendance by raffling five mini rain garden starter packs, provided by Greenstreet Gardens. Nutrien will provide $317 for rain garden plants.