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How 103-year-old Binford Middle has become one of Richmond’s most eco-friendly campuses

RICHMOND, Va. -- It may look like any other Earth Science class, but at Binford Middle School in Richmond, they practice what they teach.

"A lot of the Richmond schools are located within a very short distance of the river," Meredeth Dash, with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, said. "We're trying to localize the idea of making storm water runoff or taking care of your watershed, water quality issues, majorly important."

As part of a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has worked on providing watershed education here for the past three years. The 103-year old Binford school building has some modern-day environmental upgrades.

"Water that falls on the roof goes through a down spout and is connected underneath the ground to the rain garden." Dash said.

Binford rain garden

Even the school's entrance is environmentally friendly. Permeable pavement catches rainwater and sends it to the school's surrounding trees and plants, rather than down a storm drain and into the James River.

“For the rainwater sculptures, same type of deal," Dash said. "It comes through a downspout and it goes through a series of five troughs and then it's spread out into a garden bed that's below it."

Rain sculpture

Building the largest green infrastructure project for Richmond Public Schools... is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs Wednesday at 6 a.m.