School Garden Makeover at Bello Horizonte School

September 29, 2017

The Costa Rican Green Building Council joined forces with the local government office in charge of public education in Costa Rica and together they selected a public school for the Green Apple Day of Service. After doing a preliminary visit, the GBCCR came to the conclusion that the school's green areas were in much need of improvement. They set out to find volunteers and members willing to sponsor a project to create a garden and improve the open areas of the school. The response was amazing! Architects were willing to help out with the landscape design, construction companies wanted to donate their expertise and many other members offered their time and sponsorship to buy different plants for this garden. Nagel Architects, Structor, Sylvania, Sherwin Williams and Banco Promerica all came together on Friday, September 29th to volunteer at the Bello Horizonte Elementary School, improving interior and exterior garden areas as well as planters in corridors. The program was carried out with 44, 4th grade students. The GBCCR shared sandwiches and apples with these 4th graders while talking with them about the importance of improving their garden areas and planting trees. In addition, GBCCR gave out to all volunteers and children, green and blue gloves as a symbol of the commitment each was accepting to always provide helping hands for other people and for our planet. Overall 320 students and more than 20 school staff who attend Bello Horizonte public school every day will benefit from this great contribution.

44

Students attended

5

Staffs attended

26

Additional Volunteers attended

320

Students will be impacted this year

Intended impact of project

Reduced environmental impact
Improved occupant health & performance
Increased environmental & sustainability literacy

Impact of project

Improved student/staff health
Beautification of school/site
Environmental restoration
Improved environmental/sustainability literacy

More impact of project

The Green Apple Day of Service project will have a positive impact on the local school that the GBCCR helped out. First of all, the outdoor areas of this school had no vegetation, only dirt and few green areas. During the Costa Rican rainy season, this loose soil washes away and causes sedimentation to an already saturated sewer system. This is one of the biggest problems that we have in Costa Rica during this time of year. With plants and trees incorporated in this landscape design, the soil will no longer wash away so easily with the rain. Also, trees will eventually grow and provide shade to all the children that use this spaces everyday. Vegetation will provide cleaner air for the children and an improved environmental quality to study at. In terms of sustainability, the social impact of this project is also very important. This school houses 320 students that spend almost half of their time at school. The improvement of their physical space will hopefully encourage them to be more involved in school and think of it as a place they want to spend time at. Raising awareness about sustainability is also one of the benefits of this program. These children are all elementary level, which gives us a chance to make an impact at a very early age where children can more likely become involved with sustainability at all levels.