Watch the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Video: “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin

September 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

If you believe ecology is not limited to stormwater runoff and saving energy but that it also includes how we relate to each other and how imbalances are addressed, then you must watch “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design above or on our VS2015 Virtual Summit 2015 playlist on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

It’s been over a year since we concluded our third Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, and as promised, we are now releasing the 23 videos from our 30+ international speakers to the general public.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Social Healing Greening Carey Ensign Irwin

With our dear friend and associate Patrick Carey of Hadj Design, Peter Ensign of DC Greenworks, George Irwin of Green Living Technologies International, and Darius Jones from the Chicago Botanic Garden, we put together a fantastic panel on methods of dealing with some of the social inequities we face through various public and private programs.  But at the last minute Darius was unable to participate on filming day, so we created a second panel for Patrick to interview him on a subsequent time.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones will be highlighted next week!

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Patrick Carey is one of, if not THE most, knowledgeable persons I know where greenroofs are concerned – and a bit too humble about it!  It seems we’ve known Patrick forever – he was one of my earliest greenroof colleagues from 2000 or so.  He’s also been one of our earliest contributing editors, the Architecture Editor, and writes a very occasional architectural column entitled “A View from the Sky Trenches,” where he selects and discusses pertinent greenroof industry topics.

As an interviewer/moderator, Patrick is masterful and thoughtful! Don’t miss his excellent A Guide to Phytoremediation: A Symbiotic Relationship with Plants, Water & Living Architecture which he wrote to go along with the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2013’s “Environmental Healing through Phytoremediation – Chapter One” Panel Session with Patrick Carey (Moderator), Dr. Alan Darlington, Dr. Paul Mankiewicz, and Dr. Clayton Rugh and “Theory & Field Studies: An Interview with Dr. Ian Balcom from Lyndon State College of Vermont & Dr. Robert Cameron from Penn State – Phytoremediation Chapter 2” Panel Session with Patrick Carey (Moderator).

From 2011’s Virtual Summit you can watch the excellent Panel Session “Green Roofs Without the Hype” with Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass where Patrick started his moderating skills with Greenroofs.com.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Social Healing Greening Carey Ensign Irwin

We’ve known Peter Ensign for a while, leading the now-closed DC Greenworks’ wonderful work in the Washington, D.C. community.  In fact, Haven Kiers and I have highlighted their programs and projects previously in our yearly Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.  As DC Greenworks closed last summer 2015 having fulfilled their mission, Peter moved on several months ago and joined Riverbend Nursery to market the LiveRoof systems.

George Irwin is another esteemed colleague of ours, formerly our Green Wall Editor.  Known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial opinions, you can stay up to date with his happenings at his company, Green Living Technologies International (GLTi). George has also participated in previous Virtual Summits; see his collaborative video “Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin from 2013 and the “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table” with George Irwin, Tom Ferraro, and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed from 2011.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Social Healing Greening Carey Ensign Irwin

In this hour plus video, learn about the numerous benefits to the green economy when including greenroofs and greenwalls and with different training programs how people – at risk youth, underprivileged adults or transitioning adults – can turn their lives around and heal themselves and the environment.  Panelists will share their experiences and perspectives with years of experience in working with issues of human ecology like unemployment, poverty, and rehabilitation through projects that also heal the natural environment.

Patrick Carey, GRP

Chicago, IL, USA. Patrick Carey, GRP, has a degree in architecture and is principal of Hadj Design. Since 2000, Hadj Design has evolved from a design-build green roof and living wall to a research and design organization. Patrick has designed, installed, or consulted on over 100 green roofs to date. This work ranges from residential to commercial and institutional, various geometries and global climate regions, and with various performance characteristics such as storm water, food production, healing garden, habitat support, public art, and phytoremediation.

As such, he has been an activist in forming or aiding in the formation of grass roots green roof groups. His academic background is in philosophy, architecture, and botany/horticulture.  Patrick is a trainer with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities where he facilitates the Green Roof 101, 201, 301, & 401 Courses and has also taught at various universities.

Peter Ensign, LEED AP BD+C, GRP

Washington, DC, USA. This is Peter’s bio from early 2015: Peter Ensign, LEED AP BD+C, GRP,  has been the Executive Director of DC Greenworks in Washington, DC since 2010. Peter has overseen the installation of over 70 green roofs, 3500 rain-barrels, dozens of rain and native habitat gardens, and the only rooftop farm in DC. In 2014 Peter developed and delivered the first green roof maintenance training program, Growing Futures, in the District of Columbia. Upon completion all of the graduates were employed within 30 days. Peter has served as a speaker on stormwater issues and green job training through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Peter envisions a future where rainwater is considered a valuable resource to be harvested and reused for the greater good, requiring a local skilled labor force to perform stewardship of our natural assets. Peter holds a multi-disciplinary degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.

George Irwin

Rochester, NY, USA. George Irwin is founder and President of Green Living Technologies International, LLC (GLTi), a privately held company manufacturing patented Green Living Walls and Green Living Roofs, and is a global pioneer in vertical farming. Prior to founding GLTi, George was a landscape contractor for 20+ years. He holds a degree in education and maintains his passion for out-of-the-box learning. His efforts have earned him recognition as an education partner for the New York City Department of Education and additional higher education facilities, such as the State University of New York (and other international universities), with the development of a dedicated degree track in “Green Technology / STEM” education.

GLTi’s patented product applications of green walls and roofs include scalable vertical farms utilizing a compost-based growing media (GLTi bioSoil), allowing indoor farming operations 12 months a year to maximize production space including walls, roof, and the vertical floor plan. George is a former contributing editor on Greenroofs.com (2008-2015) where as the Green Wall Editor he shared his own experience as well as industry happenings within the field.”

Read about “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin video’s 5 Key Learning Objectives which I identified for participants of the Virtual Summit 2015.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Social Healing Greening Carey Ensign Irwin

We welcome your input and suggestions to make our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2017 more accessible, interactive, and a just better all around global social media experience!

~ Happy watching,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

~ Also enjoy these released videos available now from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design:

“Urban and Social Needs of Green” by Marc Grañén.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” by Christine Thuring.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“The Great Green Roof Review” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Green Roofs to New Cities” Keynote by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by Dr. Bob Cameron.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings Panel Session with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.”

A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing by Elizabeth Hart.

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy! Dr. Ken Yeang Keynote Interview by Linda Velazquez.”

The Greenroofs.com 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015″ by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

Greenroofs.com’s VS2015 Opening Address from Linda Velazquez.”

Promos:

The Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Speakers.

Invitation to the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT 2015 teaser from Groncol.

Small Scale Green Roofs at the Virtual Summit by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin

May 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

In celebration of honoring Earth Day 2015 and our planet’s ecology through healthy, regenerative design, we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our 30+ spectacular speakers from Greenroofs.com‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.

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Our hope is that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you will be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And, along with the speakers’ input, I will identify 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants.

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Today we are spotlighting the “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey of Hadj Design, Peter Ensign of DC Greenworks, and George Irwin of Green Living Technologies International.  Originally designed to include the 4th participant, Darius Jones from the Chicago Botanic Garden, he was unable to join the others for the live taping so Patrick interviewed him on a subsequent day.

Therefore, “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones will be highlighted tomorrow.

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You know that Patrick has been one of our earliest contributing editors, the Architecture Editor, and writes an occasional architectural column entitled “A View from the Sky Trenches,” where he selects and discusses pertinent greenroof industry topics.  He has written much including the excellent A Guide to Phytoremediation: A Symbiotic Relationship with Plants, Water & Living Architecture, and moderated several other panels prior to these; see these videos from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2013: “Environmental Healing through Phytoremediation – Chapter One” Panel Session with Patrick Carey (Moderator), Dr. Alan Darlington, Dr. Paul Mankiewicz, and Dr. Clayton Rugh and “Theory & Field Studies: An Interview with Dr. Ian Balcom from Lyndon State College of Vermont & Dr. Robert Cameron from Penn State – Phytoremediation Chapter 2” Panel Session with Patrick Carey (Moderator).

Patrick is a masterful and thoughtful facilitator, and we cherish him dearly for all of his contributions!

VS2015-SocialHealingwithGreeningDCGreenworksGrowingFutures

Peter Ensign is a great guy, and has been involved in our industry with DC Greenworks for many years, tirelessly promoting the health and promise of the human spirit, living architecture, and green infrastructure – in fact, Haven Kiers and I have highlighted their wonderful work previously in our yearly Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.

George Irwin is another esteemed contributing editor of ours, the Green Wall Editor, known for his outspoken and sometimes controversial opinions – he calls it as he sees it and has no qualms about it!  He has also participated in previous Virtual Summits; see his collaborative video “Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin from 2013 and the “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table” with George Irwin, Tom Ferraro, and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed from 2011.

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The premise of the Social Healing with Greening” Panel Session is that the idea of ecology is not limited to stormwater runoff and saving energy.  It also includes how we relate to each other, how imbalances are addressed – no less so than in the natural environment.  In this hour plus, panelists experienced in working with issues of human ecology like unemployment, poverty, and rehabilitation through projects that also heal the natural environment, will share their experiences and perspectives.

Chicago, IL, USA. “Patrick Carey, GRP, has a degree in architecture and is principal of Hadj Design. Since 2000, Hadj Design has evolved from a design-build green roof and living wall to a research and design organization. Patrick has designed, installed, or consulted on over 100 green roofs to date. This work ranges from residential to commercial and institutional, various geometries and global climate regions, and with various performance characteristics such as storm water, food production, healing garden, habitat support, public art, and phytoremediation.

As such, he has been an activist in forming or aiding in the formation of grass roots green roof groups. His academic background is in philosophy, architecture, and botany/horticulture.  Patrick is a trainer with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities where he facilitates the Green Roof 101, 201, 301, & 401 Courses and has also taught at various universities.” ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

Washington, DC, USA. “Peter Ensign, LEED AP BD+C, GRP,  has been the Executive Director of DC Greenworks in Washington, DC since 2010. Peter has overseen the installation of over 70 green roofs, 3500 rain-barrels, dozens of rain and native habitat gardens, and the only rooftop farm in DC. In 2014 Peter developed and delivered the first green roof maintenance training program, Growing Futures, in the District of Columbia. Upon completion all of the graduates were employed within 30 days. Peter has served as a speaker on stormwater issues and green job training through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Peter envisions a future where rainwater is considered a valuable resource to be harvested and reused for the greater good, requiring a local skilled labor force to perform stewardship of our natural assets. Peter holds a multi-disciplinary degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.” ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

Rochester, NY, USA. “George Irwin is founder and President of Green Living Technologies International, LLC (GLTi), a privately held company manufacturing patented Green Living Walls and Green Living Roofs, and is a global pioneer in vertical farming. Prior to founding GLTi, George was a landscape contractor for 20+ years. He holds a degree in education and maintains his passion for out-of-the-box learning. His efforts have earned him recognition as an education partner for the New York City Department of Education and additional higher education facilities, such as the State University of New York (and other international universities), with the development of a dedicated degree track in “Green Technology / STEM” education.

GLTi’s patented product applications of green walls and roofs include scalable vertical farms utilizing a compost-based growing media (GLTi bioSoil), allowing indoor farming operations 12 months a year to maximize production space including walls, roof, and the vertical floor plan.” ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

VS2015CareyEnsignIrwinVideo

You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin share on the subject:

1) Learn about the numerous benefits to the green economy when including greenroofs and greenwalls and with different training programs how people – at risk youth, underprivileged adults or transitioning adults – can turn their lives around and heal themselves and the environment.  What are the social benefits to these programs?  Why is it important to have some classroom component, internship, and field skills for a trained workforce;

2) Peter Ensign: For 21 years DC Greenworks has been working in the green and green infrastructure industry with schools in underserved neighborhoods, creating demonstration projects including greenroofs, rain gardens, rain barrels, conservation landscaping, etc., moving from installation to training and workforce development and now greenroof  maintenance; 

3) George Irwin: He stepped down as CEO (now president) of Green Living Technologies to focus on vertical farming and educational programming: learning by doing, hands-on; edibles equal renewables which creates jobs.  3200 people have come through their training, with education in 13 countries plus across the U.S.  Their pilot classroom in the Bronx was at Discovery High which went from 43 – 93% attendance to 100% attendance rates for four years in a row; 

4) What are the benefits and limitations of – and how they work – incentives and mandates from a public or non-profit perspective versus how the private sector operates around the independent contractor; the blending of the public and private;

5) Patrick Carey: What promises and nightmares do you see on the horizon for the social productivity of what you’re doing, in terms of the theme of the panel – the transition between education and work experience?

Watch the 1:18:08 video presentation “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin now playing at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  If you have not yet registered (only $49 or 25), please do:

Registration fee:

$49 – special discounted pricing;

$25 for students/faculty and government professionals

All Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts, & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand +
Networking Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015

Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.  Register here.

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Registration Open through May 31st for the Greenroofs.com Virtual Summit 2015

We hope you will support our work!  Please remember that these video presentations will not be made public for at least one year.

Happy watching and participating,

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy!” by Dr. Ken Yeang.

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing” by Elizabeth Hart.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

Video & Project of the Week for March 17, 2014: Arc House

March 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 3/17/14

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Arc House
East Hampton, NY, USA
1,110 sf. Greenroof

ArcHouse1

Project Description & Details

Located on the east end of Long Island in East Hampton, New York on three forested acres, the Arc House is a private modern residence designed with a stunning combination of glass, steel, stone and wood. With over half of the 6,400 square foot structure partially buried, the subterranean construction home was prescribed by the owners who desired a pared-down aesthetic. Designed by Maziar Behrooz Architect and inspired by an airplane hangar, the roof and side walls of the upper level are constructed with a 60-foot by 20-foot self-supporting corrugated steel arch.

Green features include geothermal heating, a rainwater collection system on both ends of the arch, and a vegetated roof on the four-car garage from Green Living Technologies International (GLTi). The green roof acts in a manner such as an infinity pool: the vegetation blends into the background providing a seamless appearance. This project was a culminating activity by students from The Bronx Discovery High at the GLTi beta classroom as part of a four year program that implemented the company’s’ green roofs and walls to enhance learning. The students practiced the skills they learned in the classroom and installed the green roof – while earning a living wage.

The Arc House is currently on the market for $3.95M and was just featured on March 9, 2014 on the Travel Channel’s Extreme Vacation Homes. Join George Irwin of GLTi, and the Green Wall Editor here on Greenroofs.com, at Canada Blooms in Toronto on March 22 at booth A 10, “Urban Wilderness” by Hollander Landscaping Ltd and Janet Ennamorato.

ArcHouse3

Year: 2010
Owner: Private
Location: East Hampton, NY, USA
Building Type: Single-Family Residential
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 1,110 sq.ft.
Grade: 2%
Access: Accessible, Private

ArcHouse2

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Maziar Behrooz Architect
Greenroof System: Green Living Technologies International, LLC
Greenroof Installation: George Irwin, GLTi & Students from The Bronx Discovery High
Contractor: Mark Proctor Construction

New!  Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Arc House Project of the Week Video below or see it on our on greenroofs.TV on YouTube:

Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

 

GLT in NYC: A Weekend of Training, Education, & Fun

January 21, 2011 at 7:10 pm

By Caroline Menetre

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Hi all – Linda and I have just returned from Green Living Technologies‘ Professional Installer Certification Training in New York City this past weekend, January 15-17, 2011.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline MenetreWe were guests of George Irwin, Chairman / CEO Green Living Technologies LLC (GLT).  George is also known to most of you as the Green Wall Editor here at Greenroofs.com.  George wanted  us to see firsthand how their green roof and green wall training can benefit underprivileged youth and under-served adults getting into or returning to the work force, providing practical hands-on experience resulting in green collar jobs.  And as designers ourselves as well, we really wanted to learn more, too.

Part of the GLT Institute, the training certification is backed by the future degree track diploma being developed by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education for the new Hunts Point High School for Sustainable Community Initiatives in the Bronx, New York City.  This four-year high school degree track centers on green technologies including a base curriculum around the GLT technologies.  Supported by the New York Department of Education as part of a CTE (Career Technical Education) program, the GLT Training is the precursor to its core curriculum, and aligns with New York State and National Learning Standards.

This course was obviously also developed to meet the preliminary objectives for professionals to become a Certified GLT Installer, and provides the intellectual property and know how to receive more advanced hands-on supervision for their patented products.

So far, GLT has trained over 750 representatives around the world and in seven countries.  George says the certification course is unlike any other green roof or wall training available since it encompasses extensive knowledge about all aspects of green roofs and walls – waterproofing, urban agriculture, edible walls – and provides hands-on learning, continued support, and much more.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

The training was held at the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School and led by George.  His dynamic personality and commitment to learning, developing, and teaching the latest technologies in the field are a direct testament to the success of his company.  Their recent project with Impacto Verde (their licensed South American manufacturer and distributor), is the Hotel InterContinental in Santiago, Chile, which boasts the world’s largest modular Green Living Wall at 17,000 sf (maybe the world’s largest overall? I’m not sure).

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Green Job Training

The certification was attended by industry architects, landscape architects, designers, general contractors, landscape contractors and installers, educators from the U.S. and abroad, and also about 30 students, including several from Discovery High School in the Bronx, NY.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline MenetrePart Bronx activist and part youth advocate, these students are fortunate to have Steve Ritz of Discovery High School as their classroom teacher.  The Teacher/Administrator says, “Green is the new black!”  The older ones were the first student class to have graduated from this GLT course last year, and are now helping with the younger group.

Mr. Ritz’s enthusiasm for the program – and passion for teaching his students – is infectious, and it was inspiring to hear him speak on the opportunities and rewards of the program.  The success of his classes is what has has propelled the GLT program into the core degree track for the new Career Training School in the Bronx, to open later in 2011.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline MenetreWe learned that Steve met George on the set of Good Morning America last June when GLT products were featured along with Steve’s outstanding students.  Their innovative public-private partnership started when George later taught a 40-minute class at Discovery High School.

This led to a GLT-funded scholarship program that took the students from the Bronx to Boston for formal training with GLT affiliate Cityscapes, Inc.  Following their graduation from this intensive training, they returned to the Bronx extremely excited!  After receiving their certifications from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the students and faculty had the opportunity to meet New York Mayor Michael  Bloomberg and celebrity chef Rachel Ray, who praised their work and commitment.  The best part is that while the students are growing fresh organic vegetables they had grown from seeds in their classroom using GLT walls (and taking them home), they’re actually getting paid real living wages as installers while learning practical job skills outside  a traditional classroom setting.

Hands-on and More Hands-on

Friday centered on greenroofs and their different systems and options, and the highlight was the mock installation of the GLT modular panel greenroof system.  All the young people (and anyone else who wanted to participate) formed groups of five and collaborated to ensure safety, preparation of the job site, good communication skills, and quality control while installing the green roof materials.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

On Saturday we covered a lot more material on greenwalls, and then received more hands-on work.  We placed the proprietary growing medium (GLT bioSoil) into several stainless steel greenwall units, and then planted them with a variety of vegetable seeds including different types of lettuce, radishes, carrots and chives.  This edible greenwall will be placed in Steve Ritz’s classroom in the Bronx as part of their urban crops learning – they not only cook their freshly grown vegetables for the school cafeteria on special events, they also sell their harvest at the local farmer’s market and then reap the profits, too.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Steve incorporates GLT’s philosophy of “zero miles” – from farm to table with indoor and outdoor edible walls for growing fresh fruits and vegetables in urban environments.  The new GLT Mobile Edible Wall ® (MEW) Urban Food Production Units (pictured at left) and commercial A frames are designed to advance urban food production and edible wall technology, and work great in schools because they are on wheels and can be rolled from classroom to classroom as needed.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

But the day’s highlight was the actual hands-on installation for the greenwall at the school where attended the class – the Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School.  Everyone gathered around as George took us through the installation process, step by step.  The students eagerly participated and took turns wearing safety goggles, measuring, using a level, pre-drilling, drilling  and installing the modules.  The easy drip irrigation that is part of the modular system had been discussed previously, but here it wasn’t necessary because this greenwall will be hand watered from the top, with excess water falling into the catch basin at the base.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

These GLT greenwall units were donated by GLT and pre-grown at Parker Nursery and have a selection of gorgeous tropical plants.  A total of six units were installed to create this living tapestry, and the end result was fantastic.  What a great sight to see when you come through the school lobby!

On Monday, we heard from Tom Walsh, GRP, of Parker Nursery and Parker Urban Greenscapes, licensed GLT distributor, who spoke to us about many important items to consider about design and maintenance – from water needs to plant health, he covered variables such as irrigation, plant selection, light, temperatures, and a rigorous maintenance schedule.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Great People

We met such great people from all over, who all share the same passion in this exciting field.  Here Linda and I are proud to be pictured with some new friends – all great professional, inspiring, talented women in their own right.  Below we are from left to right: Lynn Torgerson, Liz Holloway, Caroline, Linda, and Naomi Person at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School:

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Some extra-curricular activities of the conference weekend included some excellent New York food (of course) at nearby restaurants, and a great evening out after class on Sunday at a neighborhood jazz-supper club with George and friends.  We saw the fantastic KJ Denhert and her band at Smoke, below.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

It was great to meet Mike Bucci and Angela DiPrima-Bucci, too, the talents of G-Space, a Philadelphia architecture and design/build firm.  Perhaps you have seen their spectacular PNC Bank greenwall in our 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Calendar™ – featured this month for January.  They shared stories about the trials and tribulations of erecting the 10-story high green wall in Pittsburgh – the largest in North America at the time in 2009, at 2,380 sf:

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre
Also we enjoyed the visiting after hours with Chris Wark, Energy Editor at Greenroofs.com, and his lovely wife, Wendy.  On Saturday, Linda and I enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres with them in their beautiful Manhattan home and then out to dinner afterwards.  Below is the incredible view from our gracious hosts’ apartment.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

They even took us up on their rooftop for equally spectacular views of the city, below.  There’s nothing better than having New Yorkers show you around their city, and hearing all their great stories about the area – things you could never know as being just the occasional tourist to the city.  It was such a treat to meet them!

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

Our flight was soon after our final half-day class on Monday, but Linda and I crammed in a quick trip to the NBC Experience Store to see that much talked-about green wall that Steve Ritz’s students had installed last November (visit NBC’s Green is Universal website for more information).  It was beautiful, and I’m glad that we had just enough time to see it before heading out to the airport.  (I rather liked that greenwalls took precedence over shopping in NYC.)

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

See this fantastic YouTube video from NBC – it’s all about corporate and personal passion and commitments, showing Steve Ritz’s for his students, George Irwin’s for this private-public relationship, and NBC’s overall belief that Green is Universal!  You can see the students (many of whom who were in our class) installing the NBC Experience Store greenwall, too.

 GLT NYC Weekend of Training Education Fun Caroline Menetre

All in all, it was a wonderful learning experience – really invaluable information that I feel very fortunate to have been a part of, and I’d like to personally thank George for that.  Also, we’d also like to thank Steve Ritz and his wife Lizette (great lady!) and the students for their hard work in making everything run smoothly (and feeding us).  Great City, Great People, Great Training Event!

And finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to Linda and Aramis – not only for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had because of them – but also for their friendship.  I first interned with Greenroofs.com a couple of years ago during my career change, and since then have continued to work with them occasionally as a marketing and design contributor, and also working with Linda on several local projects.

I’ve learned so much from their dedication to sharing everything there is to know about the industry through their invaluable website, and through them, I’ve also met the best people in the industry, and acquired some great new friends along the way.  So thanks, guys!

~ Caroline