Student Volunteers Upgrade Rainwater Catchment System for School Garden

Eagle Scout candidate and Mount Madonna School (MMS) junior Will Murphy, along with volunteers from Boy Scout of America (BSA) Troop #711, recently spent two days working on a service project in the Children’s Garden, upgrading the existing rain catchment water storage system.

“We so appreciate their effort!” shared parent Isa Stead, who serves as the elementary Life Lab teaching assistant. “They leveled the ground, put a base under each existing rain barrel and built fencing around the barrels to keep them in place and to add to the overall aesthetic.”

The work included expanding the current storage capacity by adding and connecting three barrels together, and then plumbing all of the gazebo downspouts into the storage barrels. The group also repaired an old fashioned water pump and installed it on one of the barrels.

“This service project was suggested by Mike Will (father of MMS student and participating scout Braeden),” shared Murphy. “Before starting the work, I connected with teacher Jessica Campbell and with Isa on the details of what was needed. Once we had a plan, I got it approved by Isa, my Troop Committee and the BSA district representative. Then I bought materials and organized a volunteer crew.

“Our work will improve the garden’s watering system by adding storage for when there is a drought. During these times the garden’s usual water supply is turned off. Isa also wanted to instill the idea in the children who utilize the garden, that it’s possible to do your own rainwater collection system.”

The work was completed by Murphy, his younger brother Connor, Braeden Will (both Scouts and MMS students), along with a few additional Scouts.

“There is a strong sense of camaraderie among Scouts,” explained Murphy, who joined the BSA when he was in fifth grade. “You make strong relationships over the course of several years, and there is a shared sense that we all have to work hard, we are all familiar with that experience, and so most Scouts are willing to do what they can to help one another.”


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Director of Marketing & Communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. 


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