Environmental Education: Resilient Communities

This comprises of project ideas that are focused on building and rethinking current infrastructure and support to build community resilience to environmental, social, and economic changes. Such projects will be aimed at mitigate the effects of climate change. This priority area can include, but is not limited to, projects related to climate action and adaption, sustainable food systems, and access to green spaces.

To inspire your thoughts, see examples of projects on resilient communities:

1.   The sustainable school garden at Ladera Vista Junior High USA.

Source: www.plt.org

Ladera Vista Junior High developed a sustainable garden and waste diversion program. The main feature for the school program was vermicomposting. Vermicomposting is the process by which worms are used to convert organic materials (usually wastes) into a humus-like material. The Students were involved in the collection of cafeteria waste which the later add it to a special bin where it was digested by worms. The fertilizer produced through this process, “worm castings” or “vermicast,” had several benefits over commercially available mulch and fertilizers.  The Vermicast for instance contained higher concentrations of nutrients, and mucus from the worms which helps the garden soil retain its moisture. The worms’ “castings” created was then used to fertilize the vegetables the students grow in the school garden.

The program had benefits for students at the junior high school and now the school has a hands-on teaching tool. The project was collaborative effort between with Ladera school management, and enthusiastic students. The sustainable school garden project has yielded a rich harvest not only of home-grown vegetables, but also increased knowledge of potential food choices, and experiential learning opportunities. For more information: https://www.plt.org/story/school-garden-lessons

2.   Maria Fidelis Upper School, London

Source: edibleurbanroofs

Maria Fidelis Upper School is an inner London, girls’ secondary school. The school set up a small rooftop garden in 2008 at the top of a four-storey Victorian school building.  The primarily goal of the project was to educate inner city children who had little understanding on food is grown, and also the children of immigrant families who are often not familiar with traditional British vegetables.  During the project the girls wove their own containers from willow and then lined them with heavy-duty black plastic and also they carried all the compost/soil mix up by themselves.

The food growing edible roof was designed as part of the first land-based skills BTEC programme based on green roof and urban food production. The garden is a project that started out small and now it has made the girls most successful in growing herbs and rhubarb. The food they grew went into school lunches and some of it was sold to a local restaurant. For more information: https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/sites/www.gardenorganic.org.uk/files/resources/fflp/RoofGardensinSchools.pdf

3.   Central High School (CHS) in Newark, New Jersey

In Central High School (CHS), 160 students enrolled in Central High’s new Environmental Studies Academy who were considered positive, engaged, and full of resolve to become “Guardians of the

Central High School (CHS) in Newark, New Jersey

Source: www.plt.org

Earth” started an urban gardening program. The students started an urban gardening program which entailed filling the school grounds, classrooms, and hallways with green, living plants.  The students considered the plans signs of life, hope, and the ability to persevere in the face of difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement

Through curriculum for the Environmental Studies Academy, inaugurated at CHS in the 2013-2014 school year, the students gained a new awareness of the role plants play in removing harmful greenhouse gases from the air.  In this regard, they lobbied for the program while convincing the administrators less CO2 would mean students would be less tired and more alert. They set up two indoor greenhouses which was used to raise the plants that help improve indoor air quality. The urban gardening program was enabled through a grant from PLT’s GreenWorks. For more information: https://farmbizafrica.com/advertise/10-profit-boosters/1740-school-fights-drought-with-low-cost-water-harvesting-model

Please note that the projects exemplified here are not to be duplicated in your submission, they are only to inspire your thoughts. Projects that will be selected for the programme must be innovative and address a challenge or need in your context.

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We are a multidisciplinary network of professionals, researchers and students around the globe promoting Sustainable Energy, Environment and Education in Africa.

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