Using funds the school received from a $500 Green Schools Grant, HFM Agriculture PTECH is implementing plans for three new initiatives that will encourage reuse and recycling in the school.
Earth science teacher and business partner Patrick Clear applied for the grant, and Ag PTECH this winter received the maximum award from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling (NYSAR3).
In the application, Clear outlined three ways the school could use NYSAR3’s Green Schools Grant — to establish a clothing collection for students to use during presentations, begin a school-wide bottle and can recycling program and build a compost screen for the school’s new high-tunnel greenhouse.
The organization agreed to fund all of them.
“Sustainability and recycling really fits in with the Earth Science curriculum,” Clear said. “I was very happy we got it and that they recognized the importance of these initiatives for the school.”
With a portion of the grant money, the school has purchased two rolling racks that will hold dress clothes students can borrow and wear during their project presentations so they can always “dress for success.” The plan calls for students to conduct an annual clothing drive to add to the collection, something the school’s FFA chapter members did last year to get the initiative started. Those with business-appropriate attire they would like to donate to Ag PTECH should email Clear at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second initiative the grant will fund connects to a project the students will be doing in April. They will be challenged to design a compost screen that can be used with the school’s raised-bed garden and in the greenhouse being built on campus this spring. The designs will be judged by a panel, and grant funds will be used to purchase the materials needed for construction of the winning design. Clear said he thinks the funding for the materials adds an element to the project that should motivate students. “The winning design will now have the money to build it, which adds competition to the class,” he said.
The grant also will pay for recycling bins and liners so the school can not only address the careless disposal of recyclable bottles and cans, but also raise money for the student-run art club. “The establishment of a collection initiative will help teach social and environmental responsibility to the students,” Clear wrote in the grant application.