Composting at Park ForestIn Park Forest's Garden, we are proud to use all natural remedies to encourage growth. The ultimate goal is to produce all the fertilizer used on the garden on school grounds. There are several initiatives in place that will be used to benefit the garden. A school-wide composting program is set up in the school cafeteria. Presentations, including demonstrations, have been created by students to explain the fundamentals of the program to the school body.Park Forest Elementary School is a proud participant of Earth Force, a nationally recognized program that encourages youth driven activism. During the 2007-2008 school year, Jennifer Cody's fifth grade class began a compositing program that promoted the recycle of food scraps into compost. This year, a joint effort from the eager fifth grade classes of Jen Cody's, Liz Cullin's, and Lisa LaDriere-Konan's have started the program again.
School Lunch Program- Let's Not Waste Our Food
Initially, at a weekly All-School Gathering the fifth graders showed a step-by-step instructional PowerPoint on the fundamentals of composting. Then during the first several lunches of the program, fifth graders, which the help of several forth graders, reiterated the steps by demonstrating and walking students through the process of separating their trays. Together, they learned the proper way for all students to assist in creating school-grown compost. After every lunch, the appropriate food scraps are taken outside to the schools compost bins and mixed with brown organics to break down into useful compost.
Learn basic composting facts by watching the student's Composting PowerPoint
Fifth Grade Composting Slideshow
Check out Earth Force's website at www.earthforce.orgVermi Bins: What's the Poop?In addition to the school's compost bins, several classrooms are engaged in vermicomposting. This method uses a special worm that is characterized by the ability to consume and excrete its body weight daily. This incredibly nutrient-rich excrement can then be mixed in with soil as a natural fertilizer. By monitoring the bedding, temperature, and food selection, vermicomposting is an effective method that needs very little effort (after the initial setup).
For an easy to read PDF detailing more information on vermicomposting, I suggest visiting http://www.saskwastereduction.ca/composting/vermi.html, provided by the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council.
Composting at Home!The kids are truly excited about their roles as stewards to the environment- so why let it stop at school? Compost bins are easy to assemble and a great ongoing family project. The yield is extremely beneficial for the Earth, and reiterates the lessons in cycles and ecology that kids are learning in school. It's an amazing opportunity to promote the sense of wonder and understanding as they watch the complete cycle, through life and decomposition, and inquire about the nature world.
Remember, composting doesn't have to be complicated! A simple compost bin can be created from supplies such as chicken wire wrapped around four wooden stakes.
For a complete overview on the process of composting and how you can set-up your own backyard compost, please visit http://www.composting101.com/
All images used on this page were borrowed from www.zerowastewa.com.au
Last Modified on October 7, 2009