Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Woodstock Union High School Gets a Compost Facility Thanks to Two Seniors

WUHS Senior Elizabeth Camb met with National Park Service employee Kat Robbins. She told Robbins she wanted to attend YES the Youth Environmental Summit. Camb came home with many ideas about expanding the current WUHS composting efforts. Currently, the cafeteria employees compost material collected during food preparation. Camb and fellow senior Olivia Clement would like to see this expanded to post consumption composting for the whole school.

Both Camb and Clement attend Mr. Brennan's Ideas Class. They wanted to come up with a long term project. They designed an indoor collection method of composting first then found that with limited time left in their school careers and the interest in leaving behind something sustainable for the school they re-focused on an outdoor facility.

They did their research, set a budget and even visited Thetford Elementary School's hugely successful composting project which is jointly run by the school and Cedar Circle Farm.

Project design and planning began in November 2013. They presented their project to their classmates, the building and grounds department and finally to the school board. The pair sought out and received grants and donations from Woodstock Endowment-$1000, the Senior Class-$1500 (as this year's Class Gift), lumber from the National Park Service and Bethel Mills and of tools and other equipment from Home Depot valued at $250. Even Ramunoto's Pizza is donating a pizzas to build out day.

The two credit Kat Robbins and Mr. Brennan in helping to get this project going and keeping it on track. They know they will have to start a school wide education process of what can and should be composted. They plan to do this through curriculum integration, and hands on training in "Close the Loop Gardening," vegetables to food and compost, compost to vegetables.

When completed the facility will measure 20' x 4' x 4' and consist of five insulated bays that will spill into the next bay down the line, rather than having to turn the compost pile, like many people do at home. They also hope that enough heat will be generated and a heat recovery system may be added in the future.

Both Camb and Clement consider themselves stewards in their school and they hope to pass this along to the under classes. They really wanted to "give something to the school, something that over time will mean something."

More images: http://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/VermontStandard/May-2014/WUHS-Compost-Project/

WUHS Compost Project
Woodstock Union High School
Woodstock VT May 24, 2014
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