Happy Earth Day 2010! It’s the 40th anniversary of observing this date, and April has been unofficially dubbed Earth Month, too, in its honor. April is also Landscape Architecture Month, a fitting selection for a profession so dedicated to respecting the Earth through responsible environmental design.
So how am I celebrating Earth Day and Month? Well, you know we started our first annual “Love the Earth! Plant a Roof Earth Day Photo Contest” – it’s open until April 28 for entering your favorite living roof and for voting. By the way, there’s one clear early leader so far with over 200 votes! Get your friends and colleagues to vote for your roof shot now. We’ll announce the winner on April 30.
My hands-on project involves a local area Daisy Troop – eleven young girls aged 7 and 8 who attend Birmingham Falls Elementary in Milton, Georgia. Their Girl Scout Leader, mom Sandra Nichols, contacted me a while back about speaking to the troop about the greenroof I designed at Rock Mill Park in Alpharetta, GA. The girls are working towards one of their badges, the Clover Project, which involves preserving and protecting a local treasure and saving resources. Since Sandra had been to the park before, she felt this would be a great learning opportunity to present the greenroof idea to the girls to educate them about saving water and reducing energy usage.
By the way, our Student Intern, Caroline Menetre – below, and I had just been up to the roof last week, doing routine weeding and taking notes to see which plants had fared well and which ones didn’t – more on that later.
Being a mom of three myself, and now a grandmom, of course I said yes! I met with them this past Tuesday and had a blast speaking about rain water, stormwater, and an introduction to greenroofs to this lively and rambunctious group. They especially loved touching all the plants in our four Greenroof Trial Garden tabletops – and they all got to try the garlicky Alliums in the Non-native Module!
I’ll be following up with them at their school this upcoming Tuesday to help them plant two 2′ x 2′ x 4″ greenroof modules of their own – both Green Roof Blocks and GreenGrid donated a module each, which will be on display at the school for all the children to have hands-on experience and learn about different types of greenroof plants. Thanks to Kelly Luckett of Green Roof Blocks, and Jim Lindell and Greg Harper of GreenGrid! I should add a thanks to GreenTech as well – they offered their larger 4′ x 4′ x 8 1/2″ module, but it was decided two smaller modules placed in two locations would better serve the students.
Also, Bobby Saul of Saul Nurseries here in Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA, is donating the plants for both modules, as well as the growing media from ItSaul Natural. After my little talk, I presented each girl with her own greenroof plant from Saul Nurseries to take home – a beautiful green Jovibarba ‘Green Carpet’ – succulent and spiky! You know how kids like to touch things, well, they loved these!
I know that many of you are passionate about protecting the planet, and hopefully you are doing something this April to honor our land. I’ll leave with this quote:
“Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species – man – acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.” ~ Rachel Carson
~ Linda V.