By VMDO Sustainability Coordinator, Sara Teaster, LEED BD+C
On Saturday September 27, VMDO staff and family members headed to Richmond’s Broad Rock Elementary School for a day of service in support of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Apple Day of Service. This marks the third annual USGBC sponsored day of service, which is a worldwide event. The focus of the event is getting volunteers together to make schools into beautiful and healthy learning environments.
This year the VMDO team and some extended family worked on the grounds of Richmond Public Schools’ Broad Rock Elementary, a Pre-K-5 school on the Southside of Richmond. Volunteers weeded garden beds to allow for the expansion of drought tolerant native grasses, removed tree stakes that were no longer needed for the maturing landscape, and assisted in trash and debris removal. Three dump trucks were hauled away, with special thanks to Lewis, a 30+ year employee of RPS facilities staff who assisted in this effort!
Each school needs a champion. Budget cuts across the nation often compromise the ability of schools to support special design and landscaping features, such as a native grass garden or vegetable garden. The Green Apple Day of Service reminds us that the education of our children does indeed take a village. Perhaps this yearly day of service will spawn monthly or daily efforts in our schools. Look out for a Green Apple Service Program, or other type of school volunteer program, and consider pitching in to provide that positive presence which could inspire a student to become a champion too.