We can help the children to develop the sense of community, caring and respect for each other and our earth that composting requires.
The Wayland Green Team is working with all district schools to implement on-site kitchen and cafeteria composting of food wastes. Because the program required some experimentation, close direction and training at the early stages, Claypit Hill School piloted this program beginning in Fall 2011. The principal and teaching staff proved to be early adopters of this effort. The school has an active vegetable gardening program in place – both after school and in-school - under the care of teacher Deane Cody (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When school opened in the fall, parent and Green Team volunteers helped the students separate their valuable food scraps from recyclables and “real” waste when they finished with their lunches. This process took around one month. After that the school staff, mainly the custodian, took over. Read the Crier on the celebration of this immense effort here and check out the following slideshow for pictures:
The Middle School started composting with one grade under the direction of teacher and Green Teamer Bethann Monahan (email@example.com), who already maintains a number of wonderful garden beds on the southside of the school. This grade has also taken on the extra challenge of separating the styrofoam trays - a truly heroic effort! The Green Team is working on a way to have these recycled.
As anyone with a vegetable garden knows, they take consistent and persistent (think weeds, watering) attention from mid-spring throughout the fall. School gardens face special problems in that that attention is far harder to come by during the summer. Both Deane and Bethann would welcome summertime help at their gardens. Please contact them if you want to lend a hand.
What’s happening at the other schools?
Happy Hollow will soon have its own Organic Food Garden. Plans are in the making to build the raised garden beds this October, so that the soil be be ready for planting in early Spring. The size will depend on the amount of interest shown by teachers and parent volunteers. Please email us if you are interested in helping HH build and maintain these beds. This garden will lend a wonderful balance to the beautiful courtyard garden, currently being maintained by Ms. Nolan and her Girl Scout troop.
Alongside the Garden plans, Happy Hollow is also working on getting composting started in the Third Grade. The school will start with the DEP composters. Hopefully the whole school can jump on board in Spring, after the snows recede and we have found the funds and volunteers to build permanent Compost Bins there.
Due to its age-group, Loker poses extra challenges for composting. The kids are already doing a fantastic job deep recycling. We will have to work on a special system to incorporate composting. As for gardening, the Kindergarten-only school has such a turn-around of parent volunteers that finding dedicated parents to help will be an extra challenge.
Due to the construction, plans for gardens, Deep Recycling and Composting at the High School are still up in the air. We are working with the High School Building Committee and the Principal to work out a feasible system.
Benefits for the environment
(From EarthdayNETWORK's The Decomposition Breakdown: Action Plan for High School Composting)
Cut your waste! Americans throw away more than 25% of food served to them and in 2005 alone, almost 12% of the total municipal solid waste generated in American households was food scraps.(i)
The waste of food scraps directly contributes to landfills being the second largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. (ii) Methane is a lesser known greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, accounting for 20% of greenhouse gases, but has 25 times the impact on temperature change.(iii)
If the average person composted all their food and garden waste, they would prevent 5kg of methane from being released into the atmosphere every year. That is equivalent to the carbon emissions of a 40 mpg car driving 400 miles.(iv)
Food scraps can be composted to create healthy soils that give nutrients to growing plants.
Composting organic matter continues the natural life cycle of organic matter by returning nutrients into the Earth’s soil to grow healthy plants and trees
Benefits for our schools
The compost you produce can eliminate the need to buy fertilizers, pesticides, and water for the school’s garden.(v)
Less matter will need to be transported to a landfill; collection and landfill costs will be reduced.
(i) http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/organics/fd-basic.htm Retrieved June 17 2008
(iv) “Composting for Climate” Centre for Alternative Technology
Wayland's School Gardens
Did you know that Wayland has many vibrant school gardens? Help us build more beds and compost bins.
Did you know that all the school garden contributed food to the second annual Claypit Cares Donation Drive? Read about it here and here.
The newest addition is the Happy Hollow Organic Food Garden, established in October 2011
The Claypit Hill and MS Gardens in Summer 2011
Middle School Garden Update
by Bethann Monahan
seeds planted by students after school (6th and 7th grade) and grown indoors in the 7th grade Science classrooms. Many students helped to water and care for them.
They were planted outdoors by students after school (6th and 7th) and other students during study hall and science class.. Lots of helpers came together to make it happen.
The teachers involved were Jill Darling and Kathy Hawkins, both 7th grade Science teachers.
Claypit Hill Garden Update
by Deane Coady
What’s growing this summer?
* carrots, parsnips, kale, squash, and sage (Grade One classrooms with Ms. Laudenslager and Ms. Walther, with expert help from parent Renee Bolivar)
* the three sisters (winter squash, beans, and corn) (Grade Two classrooms with Ms. Biggs, Ms. Coady, Ms. Germaine, Mr. O’Donnell, Ms. Pesaturo, and Ms. Rossi).
* garlic and rasberry bushes (Grade Two classroom with Ms. Coady)
* tomatoes, basil, and eggplant (Grade Three classroom with Ms. Murphy)
* pumpkins and brussel sprouts (Grade Three classroom with Ms. Moquin)
* cucumber, watermelon, tomatoes, basil, radishes, and spinach (Grade Four with Ms. Foley and Ms. Olivier)
* sunflower/morning glory tower (Grade Four with Ms. Postma)
* herb garden, beets, and butterfly garden (After School Gardening Class with Ms. Coady)
* blueberry bushes (Student Council from the donations they received from The CHS Talent Show)
* and more to be planted over the summer by Pegasus and high school volunteers!
These groups, along with teacher and family volunteers, will take care of the gardens over the summer months. It will look spectacular in the fall for the opening of school.
Compost Bins at Claypit & MS Built!
THANK YOU, WHOLE FOODS AND WAYLAND SHOPPERS!
In the Media
Patch: If you shopped at Whole Foods on June 7, 5% of their sales went to the Green Team to fund this project.