Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A perfect place to spend Earth Day: Oaklandon Elementary

Forgive my relentless enthusiasm, but Indiana's schoolchildren continue to inspire me — and, I hope, you. I learned that Oaklandon Elementary School was having an Earth Day work day from my friends at Oaklandon, along with Derrin Slack, Founder and Executive Director of Pro(Act) Community Partnerships, who helped turn this Earth Day into a session of enormous productivity.

Raised garden beds were built, trees and bushes were mulched, art work was created, drums were played and fires were sparked, all aided by dozens of volunteers from numerous local orgs and businesses. An amazing day! A lot was accomplished:

See the greenhouse in the background? Want to see what's inside? Follow me!

Who wouldn't want to go to a school where you had to at least occasionally put on boots and muck around?

One of the most exciting items in the greenhouse is this newly-built aquaponics system. Tilapia swimming below, greens growing above; students learning first hand how nature is a complex, self-perpetuating system.

As I said, trees were mulched:

The shed was painted:

Lest you think I was only taking pictures, I jumped in and helped with that project, one at which I am adept. What I'm not so adept at is primitive skills technology, so thank goodness Matt Shull was there with his White Pine Wilderness Academy wares:

Students learned the gaits of animals, and also learned how to start a fire with a fire bow drill. 

A good day was had by all! For me, it was such a good feeling to know our future is in good hands with these stewards of the planet. All we need to do is support them and their efforts all we can — and listen to them when they tell us what they need. 

Happy Earth Day to all and make every day Earth Day.