Sunday, March 6, 2011

Who Says You Can't Grow a Rainforest in the Middle of Winter?

So maybe growing a real rainforest wouldn't be possible in our Halifax winter....but I think you will get the idea!

{yale, blythe and fleur showing off their plant donations}

Every February our children's school, Armbrae Academy, holds a Dinner/Dance fundraiser.  It always begins with a theme, this year being no exception.  Since the entire school community is focused on the environment, "greening" our own school environment, it was only fitting for the theme to be Mist and Moonlight: A Night in the Rainforest.  I won't spend too much time talking about the big night, that will come in a later post, but I want to share the makings of a special project that we were able to get involved in, in our own small way.

Its important to give you a little background.  Last year for our Dinner/Dance the theme was New York, New York, (complete with a live, painted, Statue of Liberty!).  Two parents from our school created a project the entire school got involved in...building a New York taxi cab out of food cans to be donated to Feed Nova Scotia.  It was a huge success, and quite the sight.  Students brought in can donations for about a month before the big event to form the taxi cab.  It was a project that got everyone involved.

{the beginnings of the "green wall"}

This year, the idea of a Green Wall, to be planted inside the school, became a reality!  But it couldn't be started without the help of the entire student body.  So students were encouraged to donate plants from home, or purchase plants, to help fill a "wall" designated in the upstairs lobby of the school for 3 weeks before the Dinner/Dance.  There were of course incentives!  With each plant donation students would receive 5 leaves for a Rainforest Canopy and 5 points for their House Color (like in Harry Potter).  There are 3 Houses and there is a healthy amount of competition between them throughout the year.  Students could also take a leaf in their House color home with them, write down how they help preserve the Rainforests, and return it for another House point.  In addition to the House points and leaves, students received a bottle of FIJI water, complete with a rainforest fact attached.  

FIJI water was selected because it is committed to preserving the rainforest in Sovi Basin in Fiji and is a member of 1% for the Planet.

{rainforest canopy}

My own children were very excited about this project.  Blythe had just planted a bean in a small pot that was sitting on the window sill, waiting to be watered.  She was hoping it would grow enough in time to donate it to the Green Wall.  Yale came home and told me he "wanted to give his own money to the Rainforest" and "where do you take the money for the Rainforest?"  Fleur was motivated to buy plants with her own money so their House Color would win!  And me?  Well, I do love a cause, not just any cause, but this one had my children inspired and ready to do whatever it took to help build the Green Wall, I absolutely wanted to be a part of that!

Yale and I made the first trip to Kent to purchase the many 4 inch plants he chose for the 3 of them to donate.  They each purchased a plant, and I purchased the rest.  After about a week, they wanted to donate more plants...I think the House competition had them very excited.  The color leaves on the canopy reflected which house was in the lead...

Finally, on the last day to donate plants, Blythe took in her bean plant!  She was incredibly proud!

Eventually all the plants will grow to cover the black troughs and this will take on the look and function of a true Green Wall!

Thank you to everyone who helped bring this great project to our school.  We were able to participate in a small way, but the impact will last a very long time.

Watch for the follow up post on the Dinner/Dance and our contribution to the big night!
Oh, I almost forgot....the kids helped their House Color win the Rainforest contest!

1 comment:

  1. All of you are so amazing. I have been reading about all the wonderful projects that Mom has taken on, but I am so proud of the way her three wonderful kids are involved right at her side, adding to every step along the way. You should be very proud of yourselves. I am very proud of you and your family. The only one that have ever met is Blythe, but she was only a tiny baby then. I'm sure that she doesn't remember. Keep up your wonderful work.