Pollution and Plants

Read The Curious Garden by Peter Brown or enjoy the story online.

Pollution comes from many sources and can have a negative impact on a lot things in our environment, especially air, water, and soil. While we can’t remove all the world’s pollution, we can use plants to help clean or filter some of it out. Plants are great air filters – they pull in carbon dioxide and other particles and transform them into oxygen for us to breathe. The more plants, and especially trees, that we have, the cleaner our air can be! Plants also filter pollutants out of water. The stream that runs through the Garden collects oil and other runoff from Bob Wallace Avenue. Plants filter that road pollution and make the stream’s water healthier for fish, turtles, and other animals. Garden staff monitor the water through the Alabama Water Watch to make sure it is healthy for all the different organisms that rely on it.


Homemade Water Filter

Put soil into a cup of water so it gets nice and dirty. Create a filter by cutting the bottom off a plastic bottle (have a grownup help you) and filling it with household items and natural materials. You can use leaves, rocks, sticks, sand, coffee filters, or anything else you may find. Pour your dirty water through your filter into another container and see how well it works. Try different materials and combinations to see what works best! Time them to see how long each type of filter works.

Watch a Video

This video from The Nature Conservancy explains how trees clean the air.

Learn More

Learn how rain gardens help with storm water runoff.

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