When neighbors work side-by-side on a shared neighborhood project, they form a strong sense of community. That was part of the harvest this year for kids and adults involved in three school-campus garden and landscape projects in South Austin. All recipients of $3000 Bright Green Future Grants, from the City’s Office of Sustainability, the projects brought together students, parents, school staff, surrounding neighbors and sponsoring businesses.
At Cunningham Elementary School, off South Manchaca Road, the community has worked together on an organic farm dubbed PEAS -- Partners for Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability. They not only planted a large garden, they also built a sheltered area for farm-side lessons where kids and adults learned about irrigation and organic farming practices, composting, and healthy cooking.
At Fulmore Middle School, on South Congress Ave., students collected condensate from air-conditioning units, to create a self-sustaining water source for drought-resistant native plants. Community members helped educate students about the current drought, water conservation and native landscaping.
At the American YouthWorks campus on Ben White Blvd., students in the Texas Conservation Corps program worked alongside community members to get “green jobs” training, as they installed a rain garden that creates habitat for native species, promotes water conservation, and protects water quality.
Interested in doing a project that promotes sustainability at your neighborhood school? Visit the Office of Sustainability website to learn about Bright Green Future Grants. Applications for 2013-14 are being accepted through November 1.
Photo credit: Betsy Woldman