Monday, January 23, 2017

Student-Led Environmental Projects Receive Grants, Recognition

Carrboro High School’s Eco-Action Club was the recipient of a first-place LEAF SEED grant worth $500. The grant is being used to fund the club’s goal of sparking increased volunteer and educational opportunities for high school students and fostering interest and knowledge of healthy foods and sustainable agriculture among local middle school students.

The grant was awarded by the Environmental Finance Center at UNC, which created the Literacy in Environment and Finance (LEAF) program to educate students and community members on environment finance and environmental services while promoting finance as a solution to achieving environmental protection. The LEAF SEED Grant competition was established to support student-led sustainability projects in schools while building environmental and financial literacy.

Carrboro High’s Eco-Action Club plans to use the funds to help pay for new raised garden beds, deer fencing, a water catchment system, and healthy soil. Ultimately, the club plans to expand viable grow-space, improve Carrboro High School’s composting and organic waste program, increase gardening and educational opportunities, and teach healthy food programs to students and community members.

Runners-up include East Chapel Hill High School’s solar panel project, Carrboro High School’s classroom composting and Phoenix Academy’s chicken coops.

The goal of East Chapel Hill High School’s Solar Panel Project is to have East Chapel Hill High partially run on solar energy while providing educational opportunities for students to learn about green energy. The compost group at Carrboro High School hopes to implement in-school composting stations in half of the classrooms in Carrboro High to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and increase the student knowledge of composting in general.  The Phoenix Academy Earth Science team proposed building a chicken coop and purchasing and caring for four chickens over the next year. The class hopes to gain insight into growing food and the challenges of getting quality healthy food from farm to fork.