High school students from the greater Cincinnati area gathered at the Cincinnati Civic Garden Center for an afternoon to learn about, experience and participate in sustainable building practices. The 19 students heard from a panel of sustainable leaders about careers in the field, worked together in a STEM activity and toured the grounds of the center to discover its many sustainability efforts.
The tour began with an interactive lesson on horticulture habits and the unique attributes of various plants. Students got dirty digging up plants to observe root systems and take part in separating plants for propagation. They learned proper practices, as well as as how to think of plants as not only ornaments, but also necessary components of the environment. Planting native plants can allow local fauna to flourish in the ecosystem.
Next, the group learned about the site’s water collection systems. The center collects rainwater in several different ways, the most unique being the pervious pavement experiment installed in the parking lot. It allows the center to compare the efficiency of six different types of pavement by collecting the stormwater that flows through the pavers and measuring the volume with a high-tech system.
The tour concluded on the roof of the site’s learning center, to allow close viewing of the solar panels and green roof. Each student took home a native plant, as well as the understanding of what it means to be a global citizen, and the knowledge to make responsible economic and environmental decisions.