Friday, June 22, 2012

Evergreen Middle School Opens New School and Community Garden

It all started as 6th and 7th graders at Evergreen Middle School conducted a carbon audit at their building as part of a service-learning project.  Students attempted to measure how much carbon their school emitted into the environment on an annual basis.  As students looked at the data, they began to brainstorm ideas to lessen their carbon footprint. 

Three years later, Evergreen opened an amazing new garden, which replaces an asphalt parking lot.  The new garden serves as a carbon sink, home to native grasses and flowers, as welll as vegetables and fruits, and a creates a learning, reflection, relaxation and play space for students and community members.  What began as a question – what can we do to lessen our impact on the environment?  – resulted in a $315,000 investment in a new community space that adds value to the neighborhood and creates a space that is simply much better for students than an asphalt parking lot. 

Student speakers at the event recounted how they have become environmental activists through the project, have gone on to participate in and lead environmental efforts at their new schools, and have made a real impact on their world.  One student leader stated:  “You don’t often get to work on a project at school where you can leave a positive impact on the world.” 

Led by two extraordinary teachers, Ron Hall and Michael Youngberg, at Evergreen and supported by countless other students, teachers and community partners and artists, the garden will stand for ages and provide students with countless opportunities to engage their new world in new and life-giving ways.

For a brief news story on this project, go to

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