23 May 2016 | The Nature Conservancy News Release
The Nature Conservancy, through its innovative Nature Works Everywhere program, is helping students at DC Bilingual Public Charter School to understand and protect the natural systems that produce food, water, clean air and energy in their community through a new native pollinator garden on the school’s campus in northeast Washington, D.C.
Last Thursday, volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Lowe’s and D.C.-based nonprofit City Blossoms teamed up with DC Bilingual students to build the pollinator garden — one of the largest school gardens in the city. Families in the community will be welcome to visit the garden on June 10, when City Blossoms will hold its annual Garden Fiesta at the school, located at 33 Riggs Road, NE.
“DC Bilingual prides itself on interactive learning. Our campus garden not only serves that purpose, but is a tangible environmental solution for our entire community,” said Daniela Anello, DC Bilingual’s head of school. “The Nature Conservancy is helping us create a living campus that gives our students a beautiful outdoor place to learn and enjoy. We hope other schools will see the benefits and do the same.”
The garden will act as a living environmental science learning laboratory at the school, and adding green space through gardens like this one can help address urban environmental challenges like heat island effect, or help reduce stormwater runoff. Additionally, students, teachers and the broader Fort Totten community now have regular and ongoing access to nature, which recent studies suggest helps develop better concentration, problem-solving skills, self-esteem and a conservation ethic.
DC Bilingual is one of more than 50 schools across the nation receiving Nature Works Everywhere grants this school year, thanks to generous support from Lowe’s and The Walt Disney Company. Lowe’s donated $1.25 million to The Nature Conservancy this year, bringing its total giving to more than $11 million since 2005. More than 30 Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers helped build the school garden.
“Lowe’s believes the involvement of youth in these environmental projects gives students the opportunity to experience the outdoors in new ways and become advocates for nature,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “The Nature Works Everywhere projects not only help address environmental challenges in urban communities, they also provide immediate health and well-being benefits to students in urban schools nationwide.”
DC Bilingual is a dual immersion Spanish and English charter school open to students regardless of their home language. The school encourages community involvement and teaches students to be responsible global citizens. More than 76 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch.
“Imagine if we could re-introduce outdoor time into the school day, redefine educational outcomes to include civic and community engagement, and empower the largest and most diverse generation in history to tackle the most daunting environmental challenges facing the world today,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of youth engagement programs for The Nature Conservancy. “Building a flourishing garden at DC Bilingual, and at schools like it all over the country, moves us closer to that goal.”
High resolution photography and b-roll video footage can be found here: DC Bilingual Public Charter School Garden Build – Photos and Video B-Roll
About City Blossoms
City Blossoms is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering healthy communities by developing creative, kid-driven green spaces and innovative resources. City Blossoms provides bilingual, free, and affordable after-school, in-school, and summer programming to predominantly Latino and African-American youth ranging from ages two through teens. We serve neighborhoods in which children and youth may not otherwise have access to green space. To learn more, visit cityblossoms.org.
About Lowe’s in the Community
Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 50-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed more than $250 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility and LowesInTheCommunity.tumblr.com.
About DC Bilingual Public Charter School
Founded in 2004, DC Bilingual provides an innovative dual immersion Spanish and English learning program for all students, regardless of their home language. Through our rigorous academic curriculum, comprehensive arts, technology, and athletics programs, and our celebration of diverse cultures, DC Bilingual’s students learn the skills and values they need to become influential participants in their community. DC Bilingual is located at 33 Riggs Road, NE in Washington DC. For additional information or media, contact Deanna Murray, 202-755-6674 ext. 1020, firstname.lastname@example.org
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