Green Heroes 2011
How can an instructor “light the fire” for scientific inquiry in his students?
Andrew Bowersox, science teacher at Greenfield High School, is always on the lookout for the best contexts for teaching scientific method and providing tangible projects for his curious students. Greening Greenfield has chosen Mr. Bowersox to be the December Green Hero because of his successes in teaching and in inspiring his students in the classroom.
The Johnsons Are Saving Money and Oil
“We love our new Buderus boiler,” says Philip and Esther Johnson. “We can now take hot showers whenever we want, and we are using only a third of oil we used to use to heat our home!”
Three years ago, Philip and Esther called MassSave. The people who did the home-energy assessment recommended that they replace their old 1950’s boiler, and told them about the 0% interest Heat Loan that the utility companies offer through Franklin First. The Johnsons have been saving money ever since.
Kids as Master Gardeners
The students, staff and parents of the K-3 Four Corners Elementary School have been busy learning about seeds, soil and growing things to eat -- growing pumpkins, squash, flowers, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables at the back of the school. “Out goal as an innovation school is to involve 100% of the parents. Weeding and watering the gardens over the summers, is one way parents have been involved” said Donna Gleason, Principal. The gardens were created in the last couple of years with the help of School Maintenance, Just Roots and Greening Greenfield member volunteers to maximize the school’s 9 acres of land as a hands-on teaching tool.
Our Green Hero is at YMCA, Camp Apex
Kym Rhayne cares deeply for the environment and feels strongly that our current petroleum-based lifestyle is unsustainable. She loves working with kids and describes herself as “in tune with nature.” As Senior Child Care Director of the YMCA in Greenfield and Co-Director of Camp Apex, Kym emphasizes the themes of good health and sustainability through nature-based activities in educating kids.
Camp Apex is a 3-season camp which Kym hopes will someday become a 4 season program. The camp is situated on 13 acres with 33 acres of woodland crisscrossed by trails. It is open for 10 summer weeks with 130 campers each. Some campers continue activities from the previous week.
The Green Hero this month is the Guiding Star Grange, which has made major improvements in its 80 year-old building. We want to showcase how an organization and its supporters can work together effectively and carry out a vision for its future.
This Grange (Chapman St. in Greenfield) was the first grange incorporated in Massachusetts. The land for the current building was purchased in 1931 and the hall was built soon after that. The Guiding Star Grange has served as a community resource for decades, offering space for parties, theater, dances, chorus rehearsals, religious services, and events of all kinds.
Queen of Community Garden
Greenfield resident, Eveline MacDougall, has felt connected to the land from her childhood when she was raised by people who were French Canadian farmers from Quebec. When she first moved into an apartment she felt like a “landless peasant” and longed to work a garden. She is noted as Greening Greenfield’s Green Hero of the month for her work in creating Greenfield’s first Community Garden on Pleasant Street as well as modeling how a family can turn their front yard into a flourishing kitchen garden.
Greenfield High School Students Get Excited about Saving Energy
This month Greening Greenfield is honoring four Greenfield High School students who have discovered their passion for energy and for learning more about conservation practices.
A student team of Mitch Penfield, Becca Spradley, Jandall Boom and Scott Miner are members of the Sustainable Energy Class led by science teacher Andrew Bowersox this year. The student team worked hard to analyze the energy use in the high school building, specifically the energy consumed by the lighting in the school during the daytime.
Recycling Wonder Woman
Strikes at the Heart of Greenfield’s Economic Center
“This is a community who cares for each other,” said Arlene Coughlin of Greenfield Savings Bank. Greening Greenfield has chosen her as Green Hero of the Month because she has influenced a whole business in caring for the Earth as well. Arlene has created a large-scale recycling program at Greenfield Savings Bank, which has spread to all 6 branches.
Mary Sirum Makes her Dream Come True
Mary Sirum, Montague native, and resident of the Wisdom Way Solar Village, has made her vision of using the least amount of energy possible come true. “I got interested in energy conservation, efficiency and alternative energy in the 70’s, but it was not until a few years ago that an opportunity came along where I could realize my dream.”
Greening Greenfield is honoring a Green Hero who has embraced the challenge of winter heating bills and completely transformed her home by saving energy and money in a big way. Susan Worgaftik, of Forest Ave., has seen some great cost-saving investments in the last 7 years, all of which have added to her comfort and the efficiency of her home heating and cooling systems. Here’s how she did it.
The 900 households who have signed onto the 10% Challenge Campaign are our heroes for this month!This month, The Greenfield Recorder dedicated a full page to celebrate these families. “This month we celebrate all 900 familes that have signed up for the Greenfield 10% Challenge!” says Becca King, co-chair of the campaign,“because every single change each of us makes creates a larger change when we add them all up together”.