Building a Wetland at Garvey Intermediate School in Los Angeles County

Garvey school wetlands

UPDATE: We built the wetland! Learn more here.

Many urban children have never seen a frog in the wild. With over 90% of California’s wetlands drained and amphibians declining at unprecedented rates, it is becoming increasingly rare that children come into contact with amphibians. Nature deficit disorder is a significant problem in American children, and it is well documented that spending time in nature helps students concentrate and leads to increased test scores. SAVE THE FROGS! believes that by creating wetlands at schools, we can assist both amphibians and children.

Garvey Intermediate School is a middle school of 7th and 8th graders located in eastern Los Angeles County. On October 7th, 2017, Garvey will become the first school in Southern California to host a SAVE THE FROGS! wetland construction event! This school has taken a huge step forward in saying that the environment matters, the student’s education matters and environmental science matters. Creating the wetland with the students’ assistance will encourage stewardship of wetland habitats and provide students with an educational and empowering experience. These kinds of steps taken at schools help children in cities develop a connection with nature that will later lead them to vote environmentally friendly or even become amphibian biologists!

Building this wetland will provide students with an outdoor science classroom, an attractive and interesting landscape, increased opportunities for wildlife viewing, and an exciting place to explore. The project will greatly improve bird, butterfly, dragonfly and frog habitat at their school.

Garvey school wetlands
Garvey students with Wetland Coordinator Kathlyn Franco Osagie after teaching the students how to test the soil’s clay content — an important step in determining how to construct the wetland.


About the wetland construction project at Garvey

On February 3, 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Wetland Coordinator Kathlyn F. Osagie designed a 20’ X 20′ wetland at Garvey Intermediate School. This wetland will provide habitat for frogs, toads, dragonflies and butterflies. Because the soil at the school site does not have much clay and thus will not hold water of its own accord, we will use an aquatic-safe fish grade liner to build the wetland. The water in the wetland will be less than 24 inches deep in the center, with gradual sloped sides, ensuring it looks natural and is safe if kids happen to enter it. The wetland will be supplied by rainwater and will dry occasionally, which will prevent non-native bullfrogs from breeding in it. No dam will be built, and thus little to no maintenance will be required.

Student volunteers will assist with the construction of the wetland. They will learn how to use survey tools, determine soil texture, shape the wetland and establish native plant species for pollinators. They will also help with digging the wetland, which is great for physical fitness!

garvey school wetland construction
The proposed wetland site at Garvey Intermediate School in Los Angeles. On October 7th, 2017 we will build a wetland here!

Do you want to attend construction day?

We are building the 20′ diameter wetland on Saturday October 7th, 2017 starting at 8:30am PST. If you are interested in volunteering, please email to RSVP.

Justin frogs fundraising
A big thank you to Los Angeles based frog lover Justin for raising $1,000 for our SAVE THE FROGS! wetland program. Justin raised the necessary $800 we needed to move forward with our Garvey Intermediate School project and then continued to raise another $200!

If you love our wetland program please donate! More funding equals more wetlands equals more frogs, more natural areas and more kids connected to nature. Thank you!