By Erin Higa and Angelica Rockquemore
A few weeks ago, we were proud to represent HHF Planners, as the first USGBC-affiliated firm from Hawai‘i to speak at the Green Schools Conference & Expo. From the first rousing horn blow (courtesy of the KIPP Metro Atlanta Sounds of Royalty band) to the closing challenge, our long trek to the conference in Atlanta was well worth it to be inspired by so many changemakers doing great things in our schools NOW, all in one place!
The range of work that individuals and organizations shared about what they are doing today to lay a green framework in their communities left attendees empowered, gifted with examples of what we all can do, at any level, to spread the green schools’ message: whether it’s helping kids understand the healthy options in their community (or lack thereof), collaborating on a school garden, developing a student-driven air quality data collection and analysis program, or building a school. The message of the conference was clear: in today’s political and social climate, the green schools movement is more important than ever, and it needs all of us!
Speed Greening Session: How to DIY (Design It Yourself) Your School Garden Master Plan
We presented a three-step tool, How to DIY (Design It Yourself) Your School Garden Master Plan, offering helpful tips to educators for taking school garden plans from visioning, all the way through implementation. The booklet was developed based on our firm’s recent experience sponsoring and managing a successful, collaborative school garden project for USGBC Hawai‘i‘s Green Apple Day of Service at Blanche Pope Elementary School (BPES) on O‘ahu.
We also shared a video to relay the importance of the school garden at BPES, and to give credit to a few individuals whose contribution to the project, and to Green Apple Day of Service, has made all the difference.
Mahalo to HHF Principal, Richard Quinn, ASLA LEED AP for his continued support of Green Apple day projects at our firm; BPES teachers Ms. LilyMarleen Uta‘i and Ms. Donna Padilla, for bringing the project to our attention and for making sure no stakeholder was left out; Landscape Designer, Alberto Ricordi of PBR Hawaii for his support and many years of volunteer work and master planning expertise at BPES; and Kumu Laurie Kahiapo of Growing Pono Schools for her work to establish and maintain such a wonderful place of growth and learning.
- For more on our 2016 Green Apple Day of Service project at BPES, see our blog, and Green Magazine Hawai‘i’s Jan/Feb/Mar 2017 issue
- To see other great Green Apple Day events in Hawai‘i, check out the USGBC Hawai‘i website: www.usgbchawaii.org
- You can find our booklet, How to DIY (Design It Yourself) Your School Garden Master Plan, and more in our Resource Library