Youth groups from Western New York high schools that attended this March's Young Adults Environmental Leadership Program (YAELP) were asked to post articles on their projects to the Grow website. Here is the first in this series of articles.
This article provides an update on an existing project to improve green space on our campus at the Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. Our project originated out of the student conference Young Adults Environmental Leadership Program (YAELP) put on by Sustainable Earth Solutions. The original project involved developing the land, with an environmental focus, where our old Math and Science building stood. We have changed our area of focus but not our original intention.
Our original Environmental Action Plan was focused on the land where Moot Hall (the old Math and Science Building stood) and making that a landmark area that emphasized Nichol's environmental initiatives. Moot Hall was deconstructed and recycled or reused (over 98%) in an exceptional process that involved sorting materials and including students in the deconstruction process.
Our ideas included community gardens, informational signs, picnic tables made from recycled plastics, student sculpture space, and a proposal for a small amphitheater constructed from recycled and reused materials. Our administration listened to our proposal and is excited about the possibilities but any work on the area will not take place until after a campus planning exercise. The project is delayed.
Our main pupose is to enhance green space on the Nichols campus. With that in mind we envoked our adaptive creativity skills with the help of Dave Bauer from Sustainable Earth Solutions. Our green roof is one of the key environmental components of our new Math, Science, and Technology building. Yet it needs updates and beautification, as well as educational materials to inform building occupants. We switched the location of our project, but not the overall goal, to the Beautification and Revitlization of our Green Roof.
To learn more about the Green Roof, visit our website and view the “Green Demos” at http://eeed.nicholsschool.org/eeed/.
We have identified key areas for improvement:
- Immediate: 1. Fertilize the green roof with compost tea to promote better growth of planted sedums. Please see the video below about our composting process.
- Immediate: 2. Purchase two planters, yellow flowers, and small plaque to honor Mr. Kim Kimberly former faculty and alumnus.
- Near Future 1: Arrange advisories to mix soil and compost and plant vegetable seeds.
- Near Future 2: Arrange with summer groups and employees to keep plants on roof well watered.
- Near Future 3: Set up Niagara River Keeper Rain Barrel on Roof.
- Near Future 4: Worm Compost Sundae Social Fundraiser.
- Future (by end of summer) 1: purchase 2 picnic tables made from recycled or reused material (any suggestions?).
- Future (by end of summer) 2: Create educational displays informing building occupants and visitors about the plants and activities on our Green Roof.
- Updates: Two Planters purchased, fertilization underway and plants are responding (still early), freshmen advisory set up to plant seeds and mix soil and compost.
Check out this video about our composting process: