DPS schools hold community green fairs, plantings in support of healthy, sustainable schools

East English Village Preparatory Academy, a brand new $46.3 million energy-efficient school built with environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient materials, is hosting a Community Green Fair Saturday as part of the Center for Green Schools and U.S. Green Building Council’s first ever Green Apple Day of Service. For one day, advocates from across the country and around the world will come together in support of healthy, sustainable schools by taking real action in their communities.  Many Michigan schools, including several other Detroit Public Schools, are participating this year.

East English Village Preparatory Academy is seeking LEED for Schools Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Activities include a tour of this new state-of-the-art building, demonstrations on renewable energies and presentations from WARM Training Center and Habitat for Humanity.  Refreshments will be served, and the community is invited.

In addition, on Friday, students at William J. Beckham Academy and Ronald Brown Academy will plant more than 40 fruit trees and shrubs, while learning about healthy eating and environmentally-friendly practices.

Where and when

  • Saturday, Sept. 29 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. – East English Village Preparatory Academy, 17200 Southampton

The tree plantings are in partnership with Stretch Island Fruit Co., which announced a new ‘Fruit Tree 101’ program at William J. Beckham Academy and Ronald Brown Academy. Created together with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to strengthen communities and improve the surrounding air, soil and water, the joint program is designed to educate children about the importance of eating more fruit and caring for the environment.

Some of the activities on Saturday at East English Village Preparatory Academy include:

  • Students, who have been trained by architects and engineers, will give tours highlighting the green features of their building.
  • The Renewable Energy Trailer (courtesy of Oakland Community College) will offer demonstrations of wind, solar pv and solar thermal by USGBC volunteers.
  • Community groups including Morningside, East English Village, and Cornerstone Communities, as well as Habitat for Humanity and WARM Training, will showcase exhibits on their community projects.
  • WARM Training will provide house weatherization demonstrations to parents and community members, utilizing new portable display units designed and constructed as a Legacy Project by NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) in conjunction with their National Convention to be held in Detroit in October. NOMA will also have an exhibit at the school.

About DPS’ green initiatives

Schools across DPS are also participating in the “DPS Go Green” Challenge, a new initiative for Detroit Public Schools that seeks to engage all schools in energy efficiency improvements and the greening of their schools.

In addition, due to the sustainable design requirements instituted by DPS for the new bond program schools, common elements and strategies were incorporated into the design and construction means and methods at each school newly built or renovated under the $500.5 million bond program.

The following are some features common to all of the new schools, including East English Village Preparatory Academy:

  • Community connectivity in an effort to protect habitats and natural resources.  Each site was previously developed, located in a residential neighborhood, and is within proximity of basic services and community amenities.
  • Construction waste management strategies that divert construction and demolition debris from landfills and incinerators in favor of recycling or reusing salvaged materials.
  • Use of materials with recycled content – both pre-consumer and post-consumer – to reduce environmental impacts of extracting and processing materials from virgin sources.
  • Installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures that reduce water use and increase water efficiency, lessening the demand on the city’s water supply and wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Use of regional materials that were extracted or manufactured within 500 miles of each project site, reducing the environmental impacts of transporting materials to the project sites and bolstering the local economy.
  • Incorporation of recycling centers at each school that divert waste from landfills in favor of collecting recyclable waste including paper, glass, plastics, and metals.
  • Use of low-emitting materials that reduce indoor air contaminants that might irritate or otherwise harm building occupants.  Materials include adhesives, sealants, paint, flooring, etc.
  • Incorporation of sensors for classroom lighting that adjust lighting levels according to occupancy and amount of day-lighting.
  • Installation of bike racks to encourage alternative methods of transportation and reduce vehicle emissions that have a negative impact on air quality.
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