BEST (the Bonny Slope Earth Sustainability Team) has an active student Green Team this year comprised of 6 fourth graders and 1 fifth grader. Green Team students meet to discuss topics that impact our school, community and world.
Over the last few months they have enthusiastically advocated for cafeteria composting. One fourth grade student and her Lego Robotics team even presented to the Beaverton City Council and met with Sue Shade our BSDE resource conservation specialist. Sue and Justin Gast, the program educator with the Washington County Solid Waste and Recycling Program, attended the Green Team’s last meeting in January.
The Green Team agreed to move forward with making Bonny Slope Elementary the FIRST elementary school in the District to institute kitchen composting. This is a pilot program and would not include cafeteria food waste yet. Sue and Justin will meet and train the kitchen staff and lead custodian so that the composting can begin soon. Although BSE does donate some food to Fork It Over, a program that delivers food to local pantries, this only captures a small percentage of unserved food. The composting program will help keep food waste out of landfills.
“I’m very impressed with this group of Green Team students,” said Jenny Pompilio, BEST lead and Green Team facilitator. “They asked really intelligent and hard questions of the District and the County. Without their advocacy BSE wouldn’t be the first elementary school to pilot kitchen composting. This is a really exciting first step! I am proud of our students-they are putting into action what they learn every day at Bonny Slope.”
There are other projects the Green Team students are working on too. One is having a local high school student install a mason bee house in our school garden. Frannie, a local sophomore working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, came to our last meeting to talk to us about mason bees, which are tiny native pollinators, don’t sting, and are low maintenance. She will provide the materials and there will be an educational poster installed next to the house so all students can learn about the mason bees when they visit the garden.
Lastly, our Green Team students voted to have a “Grow Drive” this year instead of a food drive. They will research plants and pick some to grow in the school garden. The produce will then be donated to the Oregon Food Bank this spring.
Jenn Pompilio commented that “This is a great way for the students to learn how to grow food, while helping our community by donating the produce. Any 4th or 5th grade student who wants to help is welcome, just contact me!”
The Green Team meets once a month on a Friday after school.