Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Pop-Up event organized by BNS Green and Government Club graduates garnered over 100 signatures in support of a pollinator garden next to the footbridge on Cole Street.
Please sign.





Strategizing?

Getting her message across:  This can be a LOT greener.

Lemonade anyone?

Planting sunflower seeds to further green Cole Street Triangle.






Proud Principal

Say:  "Garden "




First, I mean, second grader makes a good point!

Follow our progress here...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mission Statement: Developed by BNS/BCS Green Committee

A green school is a school building that creates a healthy environment  conducive to learning and teaching while saving energy and resources. A green school community practices and promotes the sustainable use of our limited natural resources through recycling, composting and reducing our waste materials. The Green Committee works collaboratively with parents, teachers, school staff and students to ensure that people learning and working in the school have healthy air to breathe, enjoy maximum access to daylight, spend their time in an environment that connects them to the natural world through plantings and gardens, respect the true value of water and strive to conserve its use. Working together to create a green school provides many opportunities for us to teach and learn as a community about our environment and the ways to live, learn and work in balance with the natural world.

History of Sustainability at BNS


  • 1990- Present: Grade 3 cleans Plumb Beach - a true act of eco-social action
  • Penny Harvest led by Penina; students explore needs and vote on how funds are spent.
  • 2000 - present BNS Green Club maintains compost, builds garden space and plants bulbs and beautifies the neighborhood, resparkles and repurposes materials
  • 2003-2004 Green Roof investigations are launched by parents
  • 2004: Grade 1 begins work at Added Value - Red Hook Community Farm were they learn how to grow food
  • 2004: Food Committee and Green Committee are founded
  • 2005: Three troughs are purchased for planting...first outdoor gardening space; one disappears over the summer
  • 2005: Grade 5 begins to take charge of  the school-wide paper recycling program
  • 2006: BNS gets a Toshiba Grant for its Getting Wet and Dirty project
  • 2006: Local eggs are sold to community 
  • 2006: Kids cooking class, using locally sourced ingredients, begins
  • 2006: “Portable” farmers markets are set up at BNS in order to bring locally sourced food to the community
  • 2006: First cafeteria recycling of beverage containers
  • 2007 to present: The first BNS/BCS Earth Day celebration happens - zoologist bring animals and speak to the kids about the importance of species diversity...this event continues as Ecorama a during the school day event
  • 2007: BNS/BCS wins the $7,000 Golden Apple Award from DSNY; both schools start a composting program and expand cafeteria recycling to include paper as well as metal and plastic
  • 2008: 1000 daffodil bulbs are planted in the newly expanded tree pits on Henry St
  • 2008: Million Trees NYC plants seven trees in the small yard
  • 2008: BNS  participates in the first Garden to Cafe event - a milestone on the road toward the office of School Foods sourcing locally produced food
  • 2008: School wide composting and recycling program implemented on a large scale;  BNS upper grade students rotate a grade at a time to supply volunteers to help during lunch recycling.
  • 2008: Rainwater catchment researched and designed by grade 5
  • 2008: 400 sq feet of garden built by BCS Green Club and BNS parents
  • 2008: BNS garden is awarded Green Thumb Community Garden Status
  • 2008: $13,000 in grants are awarded to the green committee this allows the school to build the rainwater catchment system as well as large scale vermi-composting system
  • 2008:  Second annual Earth Day is celebrated - local foods, up-cycled crafts and a composting demo presented by BBG make for an exciting evening 
  • 2008: Position of Sustainability Coordinator is created. Works closely with science coach and teachers to incorporate sustainability literacy into curriculum across the grades
  • 2009: Green 15 Newsletter is founded by BNS parents as a way to connect eco-minded folks throughout the district
  • 2009: BNS becomes a DSNY composting educational site
  • 2009: Second year of Garden to Cafeteria event
  • 2009: Rainwater catchment system built on the first Earth Day of Service
  • 2009:   BCS students build 100 sq. feet of garden space
  • 2009: Outdoor classroom - Eco Casita -  is conceived; a $50,000 grant is awarded to build the project
  • 2010: BNS is featured on the ‘Lazy Environmentalist’ highlighting vermi-composting system
  • 2010: BNS partners with a farmer (within the community) and forms a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
  • 2010: BNS celebrates the steps it is taking toward Educating for Sustainability by having an “Earth Day Museum” 
  • 2010: Kid’s Kitchen is built with the help of $7,000 grant; cooking classes begin 
  • 2010: An additional $50,000 grant is awarded to finish the Eco -Casita
  • 2010: Brad Landers awards BNS $5,000 to support sustainability efforts
  • 2010: BNS wins $5,000 from the NYC for implementing energy saving initiatives
  • 2011: Construction of Eco-Casita begins
  • 2011 to present:  BNS composts 2 tons of the food waste generated by the students. It is processed by BNS/BCS students and used in the school gardens
  • 2011 to present:  BNS/BCS  recycles 60% of the building’s waste
  • 2011 to present: Food is produced in gardens on school grounds for Garden to Cafe event as well as classroom activities
  • 2011 to present: 100 sq feet of garden space is dedicated to create a pollinator garden - it is planted by the 5th grade 
  • 2011: BNS is featured on News 12 highlighting green initiatives
  • 2011 to present: The Green Studio—a sustainablity resource room—is created out of an underutilized space
  • 2012 to present: Third Graders plant sea grass at Plumb Beach supported by their K buddies
  • 2012 to present: Ecorama Blog is started to document student work and our Sustainability Efforts
  • 2013 to present: BNS  becomes a Green Thumb school
  • 2014:  BNS is  awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag
  • 2015 to present: Green recess is run out of the Eco-Casita led by Sustainability Coordinator
  • 2015 to present: Our new farm with in-ground beds is built in our large playground
  • 2015 to present:  We place movable planters on Rapelye Street to create a butterfly “meadow”
  • 2015:  BNS is awarded a DOS Golden Shovel award for recycling and a Golden Apple Award for Recycling and Repurposing




Friday, June 26, 2015

Have a Great Summer from the Award Winning Green STUDIO




We WON the Golden Apple and Golden Shovel Awards

We won this for our Green Studio!  Citywide!

Some worms helped us win this!

Hear about plans for award money in September.




A Meadow of Flowers on Rapelye Street





Movable beds are home to pollinator attracting plants.


They also happen to  attract a lot of people too!







By the way, Rapelye Street is named after a Dutch family.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joris_Jansen_Rapelje

Field of Dreams

Chalk on the sidewalk; Wwriting on the wall says:  "596 Acres--I Can Be A lot Greener."
Fifth graders helped Johanna move this bed to Cole Street Triangle to help people visualize a field of green.


Write to organizers@596acres.org if you want it greener too! Write that you want the Cole Street Triangle to be turned into a pollinator garden run by BNS/BCS students, families, and staff.