Press Releases

Waterfall greets visitors

Reprinted with permission from Cass Lake Times 
By Charmaine Barranco               August 3, 2006
See a Slide Show of this project at the bottom of this page

A gently cascading waterfall now greets visitors to the BUG-O-NAY-GE-SHIG School in Bena, MN.

Made possible through a grant from the Learn and Serve America program, more than 30 elementary and middle school students assisted in the effort.

Daniel Dix, of WoodSpirit Gardens, partnered with the school, providing expertise on the installation of the waterfall and explaining the process to students.

The waterfall was installed near the school’s front entrance as a welcome to visitors.  Benches nearby provide seating, allowing visitors time to view the waterfall and listen to the cascading water.

“That area’s elevation was also well suited for the project, and there were no electrical underground wires to contend with either,” Johnson said smiling. “That was a relief.”

Bricks used for a small walk-in entrance to the waterfall area were delivered and installed by WoodSpirit Gardens.  The bricks are more than 100-years-old, and once lined the streets of Minneapolis. “Daniel (Dix) learned the bricks were going to be discarded by the city of Minneapolis and he asked to buy them,” Johnson said.
“The waterfall was created to beautify our school, and teach the children academics through enrichment activities during our summer program,” said Sandy Johnson, who helped coordinate the effort.

“This project enables students to learn about math, ecosystems, aquatic systems, and native plants.”

“We’re trying to move towards more project based learning here at the school,” she continued.

“It’s easier for students to learn if they know why and how, and it’s easier to retain the knowledge if they put that knowledge to use.”

Students helped Dix carry the bricks to the waterfall area, where they had dug out the soil, readying the site for the installation work.

The following day students helped plant native flowers along the waterfall’s edge.

“This whole area provides a natural, tranquil setting,” said Johnson, as she watched the children planting flowers.

“The Learn and Serve America grant helps keep our children aware of their community, take pride in their community and be a part of their community. And this waterfall is an excellent example of what those grant dollars can do,” she added.

162 State Highway 371 NW   |   Backus, Minnesota 56435   |   218-947-3663   -   888-947-2414