For months, South Whidbey School District Farm and Garden Coordinator Raelani Kessler has been watering the high school’s garden by hand.
She won’t have to anymore. A water main was installed underneath the new school garden by Tacoma-based Pacific Utilities Contractors Inc. and Whidbey Telecom on Wednesday, alleviating the need to use hoses to water the garden everyday.
Cary Peterson, the district’s chief farm and garden coordinator, said Wednesday’s work was a big milestone for the progression with the garden, which was first tilled on March 8.
“It’s insane to have to hand water a garden,” Peterson said. “It’s not sustainable.”
Workers from Pacific Utilities Contractors Inc. spent part of the morning and afternoon drilling the water main through the ground with a horizontal directional drill all the way to the backside of the high school. Jesse Donnelly, manager at Pacific Utilities Contractors, said it will lead to more water spouts feeding the garden. Donnelly said the contractor’s work was free.
Trevor Wilmoth said Whidbey Telecom is partnered with Pacific Utilities Contractors, which expressed interest in helping out with community projects.
“We approached them and said, ‘Hey, this would be a great opportunity for us to get something done that’s cool for the school and garden,’” Wilmoth said.
Kessler was happy to see the project happen.
“It will allow us to have hydrants in here,” Kessler said. “It frees up a lot of time.”
Kessler said the garden can now be watered using a drip irrigation system, which emits small amounts of water over a prolonged period of time. Peterson said the garden is nearing completion. They still have a few beds to complete and a small potting shed for tools.