“Go Green” grant will revitalize two gardens at BU

Binghamton University’s office of Recycling and Resource Management was recently awarded a $500 grant from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3). The grant will be applied to the construction/restoration of two educational gardens at the school, providing environmental learning opportunities for University students.

According to Martin Larocca, Environmental program manager at Binghamton University, the first garden, newly constructed on the pre-school grounds “will teach the children the process of decomposition, while developing a deeper understanding for our need to reduce and reuse ‘waste.’” The garden will have above-ground planting beds, surrounded by a fence, for the safety of both teachers and students. The second project “will be to restore an existing student garden at Harpur College,” said Larocca. Science students will focus on compost and decomposition, as well as drip irrigation, to teach about responsible water usage.

The grant application noted that both gardens will be supplied with compost from Binghamton University’s current composting program. Another component of the program will be planting vegetables, fruits and decorative plants in the gardens, and the creation of a seed bank. Throughout the growth period, the students and children will learn the importance of sustainability and the life cycle of seeding plants.

NYSAR3 established the grant program for the purpose of providing start-up money for recycling/waste reduction programs in New York public and private schools. Over 75 schools have benefitted financially from the program, promoting self-sustaining programs and focusing on environmental benefits achieved by instituting recycling/waste reduction programs in schools.