Green Communities At Work

One of the main reasons the Community Greenhouse Foundation sponsored the Green Communities program was the idea of communities sharing good news and stories about the way people and organizations are doing positive things as they related to green sustainable living in their communities. The web sites are geared to act as a conduit to all sectors of the community and other communities around the state. This is a PERFECT example of what this program is supposed to promote and share.

Last week Wendy Vetter, a mother of a 6th grade student attending Freedom 7 Elementary School located in Cocoa Beach, Florida contacted the office asking if we could help located a Green Commercial building in the area that has been built or will be built to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. We try and help people in many ways and this request would be somewhat easy to fulfill. Ms. Vetter was then given my contact information due to the Foundation has access to a great deal of that type of information.

A perfect example of why we created this program

This is not what the story is about though, providing resources and educational information is something the Foundation always tries to do when requested. The story came to life when Wendy began to explain to me why she was looking for this type of building or project. Her son Andrew and two other students selected Green LEED Commercial Buildings as their subject for their yearly project which they work on all year and present to the school, parents and friends at the end of the year.

Of course I asked, “What made them choose that as a topic?”

Wendy explained that at the beginning of the year the theme for the entire school was green and the topics and subjects that were chosen ranged from organic foods, green residential homes, green marketing, just to mention a few. This really perked my interest due to I think it is a great way to bring green living into the education system and in elementary school it made a big impression. Included in the projects requirements are creating movies, studies, interviews to back up all their findings.

About half way through our conversation I had an idea that might work for the kids. Fortunately through our work we have had contact with many cities and counties across the state, but I knew of one that was getting ready to build a new city hall which was designed and to be built to LEED Standards and it was right down the street from where the students attended school.

An email to John Titkanich with the City of Cocoa and the students had what they needed to complete their project. Mr. Titkanich, Gary Palmer and Ed J. Wegerif from the City of Cocoa were thrilled with the request and made a call to the Architect on the project Shad L. Traylor with BRPH Architects-Engineers to see if he could meet with the kids also to really give them a detailed look at the process. As we all know good news and good stories make people want to go the extra mile, Mr. Traylor also was thrilled with the request.

Avery Ellegood, Jacob Palmer and Andrew Gansler the sixth grade students from Freedom 7 Elementary school were very impressive with their knowledge and in-site on Commercial Green building and on more than one occasion the seasoned professionals sitting around the table looked around to see if someone was feeding the students questions to ask. These students knew their stuff and it was obvious to all that their project was truly good news for green living. There will be more about Avery, Jacob and Andrew and their project posted on the green community web sites in the next few months along with the Freedom 7 Elementary School and the creative way that they brought green living into not only the students lives that attend, but their families and now yours.

This is the perfect example of why we started this program. On May 16, 2009 Avery, Jacob and Andrew will present their project during a year end school event, try and attend, you will be impressed and get a taste of some good green news.

A special Thank You to John, Ed, and Gary from the City of Cocoa and Shad Traylor from BRPH Architects-Engineering, Inc. for providing and acting as resource for the green-kids in their community.

Brevard County Public Schools

About Freedom 7 Elementary

Freedom 7 Elementary School of International Studies is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) School. Through the IB Program, Freedom 7 offers an inquiry based curriculum that empowers students to become responsible world citizens and reflective lifelong learners.

The overriding philosophy of the Millennium Elementary Schools of Choice is to provide students with an enriched interactive atmosphere fostering good citizenship within a nurturing and safe environment. Through the enhanced program emphasis on international studies combined with a traditional core academic curriculum, Freedom 7 Elementary, one of the three elementary Millennium Schools, sparks excitement and enthusiasm for children.

Visit Freedom 7 Elementary at

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