Residents Forward grows future environmentalists

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students working in the garden

The Climate Awareness Garden is a Residents Forward project, located on Campus Drive next to Schreiber High School. Since April, Wednesday afternoons are alive with activity and plants as local Weber and Schreiber students lead elementary age participants in gardening and related activities.

Working in the garden students have the chance to grow vegetables, study our food system and learn how they can address climate change.

On a recent Wednesday, the topic was composting. One of the middle school leaders, Tessa Timpone, questioned the elementary students about what they had learned. One told her that meat and dairy cannot be composted.

Another explained that over time, the food scraps put into the compost bin break down thanks to decomposers like worms and that in time, those food scraps become fresh soil. Introducing these ideas to young students is a wonderful way to grow future environmentalists.

Over the eight weeks the program has been running the participants have been learning about many topics around how what we eat contributes to climate change. As one student explained, “we want to help by planting fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables use less resources.” Others eagerly added that meat requires a lot more energy to produce than vegetables and also releases much more greenhouse gas emissions than vegetable production.

This year’s program has been made possible primarily thanks to funding from the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by thes tate Department of Environmental Conservation. For more information and to sign up for a week of activities in the garden in August, please email info@pwresidents.org.

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