Green Apple Season of Service Projects

Thanks so much to all the groups who are planning service projects or have already completed them! Your hard work will result in healthier, cleaner schools for our children. For those who would like to get involved, check out the upcoming projects below and either sign up for a project or create your own!

Green Apple Season Of Service

Vox Lumina’s Parade of all Beings

Completed Projects (listed chronologically):

1.       Garden Day. September 14, 2013, Environmental Charter School

Regent Square neighborhood, Pittsburgh

More than 40 volunteers gathered at the Environmental Charter School to help maintain and prepare an educational outdoor learning space.  Volunteers included students, parents, teachers, and employees of Whole Foods Market and IKM Incorporated.  Projects were completed at the lower school, in the school’s garden, and at nearby Frick Park.  In just one day, this group made some amazing accomplishments which include: raking the school lawn, harvesting the summer crop and winterizing the raised beds as well as removing Japanese Knot weed from the Frick Park.


2.       Grow Pittsburgh hosted a free garden workshop.  September 21, 2012, Pittsburgh Public School Faison K-5


George Bandy at the Environmental Charter School

Homewood neighborhood, Pittsburgh

12 attendees from the Homewood neighborhood learned how to engage children with food, soil, insects and the wonder of the natural world.  Those at this event toured an Edible Schoolyard Pittsburgh garden and discussed strategies for engaging young people in the garden. The workshop hosted presentations by Jake Seltman, Grow Pittsburgh’s Director of Education and Maria Bowman, who manages the Edible Schoolyard Program.


3.       Northwestern Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy hosted a forum for the creation of a Learning Garden. September 24, 2013,  Northwest PA Collegiate Academy

Erie, PA

Northwestern Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy opened up the school to the community to take a tour of the schools’ unique and challenging future learning garden site.  The school’s green team and engineering students received suggestions and feedback in preparation for a design charette with the Captain Planet Foundation in October.


4.       ALCOSAN linked art and environmental learning for the 21st century and created Eco-Murals. September 26, 2013, Manchester Academy Charter School

Manchester neighborhood, Pittsburgh

ALCOSAN Scholastic Outreach collaborated with elementary and middle school classes and promoted environmental stewardship in regards to Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers and infrastructure.  MACS students completed eco-murals to display biodiversity and infrastructure in and along our three rivers.


5.       Methodist Union of Social Agencies and ALCOSAN hosted science lesson and activities on water and plants.   September 26, 2013, Barrett Elementary School

Homestead neighborhood, Pittsburgh

ALCOSAN Scholastic Outreach assisted the Methodist Union of Social Agencies after- school program and promoted environmental stewardship to students in grades K-6 with a science lesson on the movement of water within plants.  Students also planted wildflower seeds after learning how water moves throughout plants.


Green_Apple_Project6.       The Science of Garbage.  September 27, 2013, Spectrum Charter School


Over the course of a week, each classroom was assigned an activity (such as poetry, mural creation, measurement) and applied that activity to the motto of reduce, reuse, recycle.  In addition, each classroom was instructed to recycle and compost all materials possible and then save their remaining garbage for a week.  At the end of the week, the results were measured and graphically displayed and a winner was announced for their waste-reducing efforts.


7.       Green Building Alliance’s Green Schools Academy hosted an educational booth at the Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival.  September 28, 2013)

Hartwood Acres, Hampton Township

GBA’s Green Schools Academy’s booth had a fun, hands-on activity for students and parents to learn about the different types of energy-efficient lighting systems that can be used in their schools and homes.  Thanks to the Climate Urban Systems Partnership, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, GBA’s Green Schools Academy was part of a tour of organizations that provided educational activities on a variety of topics like how to mitigate green house gas emissions, conserve precious natural resources, and manage storm water!   Regional residents also had the opportunity to weigh in on what we can do to bring healthy and high- performing schools to Western Pennsylvania.


8.       Vox Luminas hosted “Parade of all Beings” in celebration of ecological diversity at the Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival (September 28, 2013) 

Hartwood Acres, Hampton Township

Supported by the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, students and adults had the chance to use recycled and reclaimed materials to create their own costume of their favorite life-form.  Green Apple Day of Service volunteers helped create puppets and costumes for a fun parade through the fairgrounds in celebration of the diversity of planet Earth.


9.       Green Week (October 1- October 4, 2013)

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

Students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Manchester Academic Charter School participated in a week long Green Week lecture and activity series led by the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. Lectures and activities covered different areas of sustainability including: clean water, transportation, infrastructure and innovation.


10.   Benefits of Native Plants (October 8 or October 9, 2013)

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

The 6th grade students learned about native plants and their benefits from a community representative. Students learned about the different types of plants that are native to Western Pennsylvania and the ecological dilemma caused by invasive species.


11.   Tour of our Green Community (October 8,2013)

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

Green Apple Project

Garden Day at the Environmental Charter School

The Middle School students at Manchester Academic Charter School were guided on a tour of the Manchester community as part of the Green Apple Season of Service. The Manchester Community has been working to include green building practices and ideas within their community infrastructure like installing solar panels on houses, incorporating rain gardens and much more.  Students toured native gardens to see some of the fruit that has been produced and spoke with members of the community about the benefits of rain gardens and solar panels. The students were also able see and understand how green practices impact everyone in their community.


12.   Passing on Green Habits (October 10, 2013)

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

Teaching is the best way of truly understanding a concept.  In order to help middle school students gain a better grasp on sustainability and green concepts, Manchester Academic Charter School’s middle school students created presentations to pass on what they have learned by working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation.


13.   Reflective Writings from Green Apple and Green Week Activities (October 7-Oct 12)

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

Middle school students at Manchester Academic Charter School wrote reflective pieces about lessons learned from their Green Week project with University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation.


14.   Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh and HECC Volunteer Day (October 12, 2013)

Homewood Community, Pittsburgh

A total of 20 student volunteers from Carnegie Mellon University, Robert Morrison University, and the University of Pittsburgh joined the Higher Education Climate Consortium (HECC) and Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh to update and repair homes for the disabled, elderly, and veterans in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Home repairs will help to make these places  more livable, comfortable, and a little more energy efficient.

15.   Polish Hill Community Garden Project (October 13, 2013)

Polish Hill Community, Pittsburgh

Fifteen volunteers from the Polish Community, Student Conservation Association’s Green Cities Sustainability Corps program and Carnegie Mellon University joined in a service project to re-vitalize a tree covered area in Polish Hill. Activities from the day included mulching of newly planted trees to protect their roots from winter extremities, experimenting with different types of invasive control, landscape rehabilitation and planting of native plants. Thank you goes out to Allegheny Clean ways, the Student Conservation Association, Starbucks Coffee, and Chipotle Mexican grill in Bloomfield for providing components that made this day a huge success.

SCA Green Cities Fellows working with the Polish Hill Community to revitalize a tree covered area in Polish Hill

Student Conservation Association (SCA) Green Cities Fellows working with the Polish Hill Community to revitalize a tree covered area in Polish Hill

Photo Voltaic Solar Energy Art Series (October 23, 2013), Pittsburgh Public Schools Schiller 6-8

Northside Community, Pittsburgh

The Conservation Consultants Incorporated (CCI) Center and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh collaborated to engage students in a comprehensive overview of Photovoltaic energy.  The Four-session lesson also integrated art-related activities like a paper mural and sun prints.

17.    Photo Voltaic Solar Energy Art Series (October 24, 2013), Pittsburgh Perry High School

Northside Community, Pittsburgh

The Conservation Consultants Incorporated (CCI) Center and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh collaborated to engage students in a comprehensive overview of Photovoltaic energy.  The Four-session lesson also integrated art-related activities like a paper mural and sun prints. Learn more about PV-SEAS here.

18.   School Energy Audits  (October 24, 2013), Manchester Academic Charter School

Manchester Neighborhood, Pittsburgh

On Thursday October 24, volunteers from the Green Schools Academy and Janice Serra from Citizen Power collaborated with 8th grade students and their math teacher to conduct a mini energy audit at Manchester Academic Charter School.  In preparation for the audit activities, students visited; the Sarah Heinz House, a LEED certified building, also located in the North Side. They also interviewed key decision makers in their school building.

During the energy audit, students were separated into teams of 5 and they focused on different aspects of their classroom and school building. Some these focus areas included:  temperature management, water management, light management and plug load management.  After a 30 minute investigation of each of these aspects, students presented to their classmates and shared recommendations for improving indoor environmental conditions based off of their investigations.

A big thank you goes out to Mr. Scoumis (Manchester Academic Charter School, CEO), Mrs. Rose at MACS, all the 8th grade Math students at MACS, Janice Serra from Citizen Power, and Brad Hochberg   for a great learning experience for the children at MACS.

19.   Harvest gARTen Festival (October 26, 2013), Pittsburgh Public School Langley K-8

Sheraden Community, Pittsburgh

On Saturday October 26th, 2013, Pittsburgh Langley K-8 students, parents, teachers and staff joined Sheraden community residents in a celebration to enjoy the harvest from the school’s greenhouse and courtyard and to beautify the school grounds.  200 tulips were planted at the front of Pittsburgh Langley K-8 at the festival that also engaged students, school staff members, and the Sheraden community in pumpkin decorating, smoothie making and mosaic creating. The school’s Parent-Teacher Organization also prepared baked goods to sell during the day. Thank You to Pittsburgh CitiParks Community Enrichment program for providing  smoothies, mozaic activities and coordinating most of the day’s events, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for providing tulip bulbs for the plantings, the staff, teachers and community at Langley, Green School’s Academy volunteers and most importantly to the students at Pittsburgh Langley K-8  whose participation helped make the festival a huge success!! Follow this link to see some photos of the event.

20.  Clean Air Matters (November 11 – November 15, 2013), Community Day School

Squirrel Hill  Community, Pittsburgh

The Clean Air Matters project was a week-long air quality awareness project organized by Jennifer Bails from the Heinz Endowments’ Breathe Project in collaboration with teachers at the Community Day School in Squirrel Hill. Throughout the week, students were involved in different educational activities including anti-idling education for school bus drivers, carpool lane drivers, a bike/walk to school day and a day of compost/recycling education in the lunchroom.  Many thanks goes out to Jennifer Bails, the Heinz Endowment’s Breathe Project, volunteers from the Green Schools Academy and most importantly to all the students and staff at the Community Day School whose participation helped make this a truly successful event. Learn more about the Breathe Project here.

21. Worm Bin Project (November 11, 2013), Kentucky Avenue School

Shadyside Community, Pittsburgh

On Monday November 11th, the kindergartners at Kentucky Avenue School learned about worm composting. With guidance from their teacher Judy, her assistant Amrita and one of our Green Schools Academy volunteers, Mary Hoglund, students were engaged in an in-depth discussion about worms and their new classroom worm box. The children were fully engaged from the start and they enjoyed studying their worms and comparing them to gummy worms.  They also completed a craft to take home that included a paper worm that can hide in the soil, grass, or an apple.  By the end of the project, even children who were saying “Ewww, worms!” at the beginning of the day were enthusiastically participating in all the day’s activities.  This project will be an ongoing way to learn about waste after lunch and how there are many unique ways to handle our “garbage.”   A special Thank You goes out to Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm in eastern PA for providing worms for this project.