Saint Paul, Minnesota
Since 2007 City Academy has been involved in many renewable and sustainable energy practices reports Alice Rivard. In addition to offering a Renewable Energy Certification, water efficiency has been a major component of our program. The students have created three rain gardens to capture the water runoff from the school building and parking lot. The students are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the gardens. In addition, they have constructed a compost bin to recycle all the schools kitchen waste to provide organic substance to the gardens. Students have also committed to helping a local senior housing project install a rain garden this summer, as well as assist in the construction of a nature trail within the inner city.
This year the students embarked on an ambitious venture to paint and decorate 35 rain barrels – which they distributed on April 17, 2010. The students hosted a green energy fair in honor of Earth Day. Thirty earth friendly community organizations participated as vendors at the fair. During the fair the students conducted workshops on the construction and use of rain barrels. At the end of the fair a lottery was conducted and the rain barrels were distributed to local participants. The students have also decorated over 50 gourds to be used as bird houses which were also given away at the Green Fair.
This year’s Green Fair received enthusiastic support from the community and requests for it to become an annual event. The calls for more rain barrels have come in steadily since the event and students will continue to participate in green activities and learning throughout the year in many areas of the curriculum.