top of page

Biodiversity Garden (Rooftop Garden) Project

The Rooftop Garden project is a student-led initiative that addresses the lack of biodiversity on our urban school campus. I wanted to enhance the green coverage and biodiversity of our campus, and thus, initiated the project with my friends. We aimed to create a sustainable environment by building a rooftop garden to attract insects, pollinators, and birds, providing an immersive learning space in nature. Currently dominated by artificial grass and concrete, our campus lacks green spaces, and many students are unaware of the diverse bird species present. To engage the community, we encourage students to actively participate in biodiversity monitoring using platforms like "ebird" and "iNaturalist." Through day-to-day gardening activities, we are trying to foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among the students and reinforce the connections between our actions and the environment. Recognized for our commitment to service learning, we received the ACAMIS Service Learning Grant and a $2000 fund, enabling us to continue developing the rooftop garden and enhancing biodiversity at Beijing City International School.



We initiated the project in the winter of 2022, intending to enhance the biodiversity of our urban campus. After meeting sessions and discussions, we finally narrowed the facets of the project down to creating a biodiversity garden that fosters native plant species, provides a suitable habitat for birds and insects, and creates an immersive learning space connecting students to nature. 

We proposed the project to Mr. Tom, our head of school, for him to grant access to our chosen area. We received access to the space on every Tuesday and Thursday. After the grant, we created a floor plan that illustrates the current condition of the chosen space. 

We also printed the floor plan out, drew our idealization of the garden, and created a 3D representation of the ideal product. 


​Planning and notes: 

Biodiversity trip to Wenyu River: 

Wenyu River is the most biodiverse area in Beijing. Famous for its abundance in bird species, it is on the migration path of various bird species and thus becomes a place for birds to stop and take a break during their migration. Wenyu River has the highest record of comprising over 60 bird species simultaneously. The biodiversity of the Wenyu River is primarily due to its recluseness from human disturbance. During the trip, we observed various species and learned that if humans leave a place not disturbed, nature has its way to prosper and thrive. Native species will proliferate and create effective ecosystems.


The trip made us realize the importance of native species; they tend to be more naturally adapted to local growing conditions and provide resources for local wildlife. Thus, we selected an area on campus as a "raw area" that neither staff nor students will take care of, letting the native species grow without human interference. 


I created a research document listing possible bird species we tend to attract. I first walked around the campus and listed the species we already have, browsed through illustrated handbooks of birds in Beijing, and finally determined the bird species we tend to attract and how to attract them and provide them with a safe habitat.  

Link to Research Document

As the project progressed, we discovered a safety hazard in our space. Our space is built on top of the swimming pool, with three skylights in the garden's center. Although skylights have glass, once the garden comes into use, students will likely pass through the cordon, step onto the skylight, and fall.  Hence, we needed to create barriers that were not as easy to trespass on as cordons. I designed fences with an adequate height to circle the skylight and alleviate the hazard and gave the design to the campus management department.

I created a purchase list that embodies the Taobao links to materials we are purchasing. 


On July 18th, we received funding from the Global Youth Action Fund. 

All of our purchases arrived on August 16th. 

On August 31st, we developed the project into an extracurricular activity (EA) to get more people involved in the process and inform more community members of the importance of biodiversity. We introduced the EA to others at the EA fair and incorporated new members into the group. I created posters to deliver basic information of the activity. 

We began planting and started by tilling the soil. During the process, we benefited from the immersive natural environment, and learned life skills pertaining to gardening and planting. 


Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 11.01.37 AM.png
Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 11.48.23 AM.png
Screen Shot 2023-08-30 at 9.42.28 PM.png

The seeds we planted are spouting, 

Current Progress: 

bottom of page