Équipe Verte - Ecole G.E.C.
Rick Miller has been working with other parents to develop and maintain “l’ÉQUIPE VERTE” (The Green Team) at his daughters’ elementary school in Toronto, École George-Étienne Cartier. What began as an effort in recycling (started by fellow parent Heidi Pospisil) has become a full-fledged program to instill in young students an appreciation of nature and ecology, and to encourage leadership in sustainable environmental solutions for our planet. Here are just a few of the projects already under way or in development:
- The 3 “R”s: REDUCE: An effort to reduce the school’s waste production by 20% in 2010-11 by having weekly “dîners sans déchet » (no garbage lunches). REUSE : We have a functioning system of 2 compost bins, in which organic waste is transformed into a nutrient-rich compost for the gardens. We are also re-using rainwater (via a rain barrel) to irrigate one of the gardens. RECYCLE : We are trying to encourage each class to not only compost but to recycle wherever possible.
- The GEC GARDENS: Rick and the ÉQUIPE VERTE have been planting perennials and bulbs for 2 years now, and the school gardens have been flowering beautifully. In Nov 2010, we inauguarated a bi-annual "Journée Verte: Jardins" community garden project in which over 200 students helped share something from their home gardens. The goal is not only to beautify the school grounds, but for students, faculty and parents to appreciate (and understand) nature and its many marvels. Next step: a vegetable garden in 2011-12.
- AMPHITHEATRE PROJECT: The school has a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre that is unfortunately wasting away due to soil erosion and bad drainage. Rick and the ÉQUIPE VERTE have just received $1000 from Metro Green Apple Grants and $5000 from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation to help pay for the costs. Digging back to his architecture training, Rick painted a watercolour rendering of the project (see image).
- BICYCLE RACK: We also received $1000 for a new bicycle rack from Metro, and we are hoping more and more students use it over the course of the year!
Rick and the Equipe Verte are currently applying for grants for various projects, and would appreciate any feedback or support (or connections!).