The school, located at 610 Henry St. in Carroll Gardens, created an Eco-Action team responsible for increasing green space and biodiversity on the school grounds and implementing a waste-reduction program. Students now compost and recycle nearly 75 percent of the school’s cafeteria food waste.
Students from first through fifth grade took part in a wide array of eco-friendly programming over the last school year with lab science class instructor Barbara Taragan and sustainability coordinator Joanna Esteras.
“They learn what green space means to the health and well-being of humans, and the positive, as well as negative, impact humans can have on green spaces,” Taragan said.
With a curriculum built around green awareness, first graders used community gardens, parks and urban farms in and around the school community. They raised crops in the school garden, learned how to compost cafeteria scraps on a series of raised beds and even learned how to harvest their own produce.
Second graders learned about the importance of water through a series of water filtration courses, created rainwater catchment systems, and are currently working towards creating a pipe system to irrigate the school’s gardens in the spring.
Meanwhile, fifth graders studied the impact of climate change, weather patterns and the benefits of alternative energy sources. Their work can be found bnsecorama.blogspot.com.
“I applaud the students and faculty at P.S. 146 for their exemplary efforts in promoting environmental and social sustainability,” said Councilman Brad Lander at a ceremony at the school last week. “The school’s composting and recycling program is another great example of how innovative ideas are helping our district move toward a greener tomorrow.”
Lander, NWF and members of the school toured the school’s Green Studio - a room dedicated to sustainability projects - recycling stations, the outdoor composting center and the Eco-Casita, an outdoor classroom in a converted shipping container.
“Since we have instituted a strong focus on teaching an eco-based curriculum, our students have shown increasingly sophisticated answers to questions dealing with the negative and positive impact humans can have on the environment,” said P.S. 146 principal Anna Allenbrook.
The school received a $5,000 grant from the Department of Education’s Sustainability Initiative to further their programs for their efforts.
Emily Fano, outreach manager for the city's Eco-Schools USA program, applauded the school for becoming one of now 210 schools to take on the initiative in the last 18 months since the program was first created.
“The Green Flag award places P.S. 146 among an elite group of schools across the country that are improving their schools by reducing energy costs and waste, greening the school grounds and maturing student scientists through hands-on learning,” Fano said.