Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative
|Project Lead:||Eyebeam Atelier|
|2014 Project Partners:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126, and Northside Charter School; El Puente; Brooklyn Botanical Garden; and School for Public Engagement at Purchase College|
|2015 Project Partners:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126 and Northside Charter High School; and New York City Department of Parks and Recreations: Brooklyn Forestry; and GreenThumb|
|Project Location:||Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126, and Northside Charter High School: 424 Leonard Street|
|Total GCEF Investment:||$52,600|
|2014 GCEF Grant:||$25,000||2015 GCEF Grant:||$27,600|
|Total Matching Contributions:||$0|
|2014 Matching Contribution:||$0||2015 Matching Contribution:||$0|
|Project Completed:||January 2017|
In 2014, through a competitive process, La Casita Verde and fiscal sponsor Eyebeam Atelier received a $25,000 GCEF grant to fund a mobile compost initiative, “Soil Cycle, a Mobile Compost Initiative” at 3 Greenpoint schools (Citizens of the World Charter School, John Ericsson M.S. 126 and Northside Charter High School, all housed in the same building). In this GCEF-funded initiative, specially-designed cargo bikes collected organic wastes from local schools, composted the wastes as the rider pedaled, and allowed the composting process to be observed and monitored. Students learned first-hand the basics of microbiology, and the practice and benefits of urban composting, all while helping to reduce the amount of organic waste generated by their schools.
In 2015, La Casita Verde and Eyebeam Atelier received an additional $27,600 GCEF grant to supplement the Soil Cycle project. Major activities supported by this GCEF funding included planning and implementing compost operations at M.S. 126, training key members of the community to participate in the operations, managing the composting systems already in place in the schools, working with student “Soil Ambassadors,” teachers, and parents to assist with organic waste pickup, and distributing information about the program.
Two instructional videos and a user manual were created for use by the schools to support the program, communicate its value to the public, and share information for teachers, parents, and other stakeholders at all three schools.
After the program’s conclusion, teachers who were trained by the program have continued working to incorporate materials generated by the project into the classroom. Students at M.S. 126 continue to utilize composting bins built by the project in order to create compost material for the maintenance of their gardens, also created with funding from GCEF.
- Designed and built the Soil Cycle bicycle
- Conducted 10 workshops, and developed a curriculum for classes on topics of food waste and composting at Citizens of the World Elementary School, John Ericsson Middle School, and Northside Charter High School
- Over 100 students participated in the “What is Compost” program and a class of 25 students were trained on how to be “Ambassadors of Composting” for their school
- Planned and implemented compost operations at M.S. 126 and trained key members of the school community, including 4 staff members, 4 teachers, and approximately 10 students, to administer these operations
- Composted 450 gallons of organic material over a 6-week period in the Soil Cycle composting system
- Educated the community through the “Soil Ambassador” program, which uses the specially designed cargo bike to explain composting, reaching an estimated 50-100 community members
- Developed 2 instructional videos and a user manual for use by the school to support the program, communicate its value to the public, and share information for teachers, parents and other stakeholders at all three schools
- Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative: User Manual
- Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative: Sample Curriculum
- Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative: Elementary-Aged Worksheets
- Soil Cycle: A Mobile Compost Initiative: Instructional Videos:
Composting on Wheels: North Brooklyn Students Put a Peddle to the Metal (Greenpoint Gazette, May 28, 2015)