The Freight Farm is a repurposed shipping container that currently holds a hydroponics growing system capable of producing the equivalent of more than 1 acre of farmland, or 900 heads of lettuce per week. The Farm was won by YouthCAN as part of the Green Schools Makeover Competition in 2013, but due to increasing popularity and student participation, it is currently managed by the Freight Farm Club. For more information, click on the file below.
Raised Garden Beds
In 2010, for 350.org’s day of action, we built and planted 3 raised beds in front of the school that we operated for several years, hosting special events like the salad party that was featured in slide show. We started a summer garden interns program that includes a small stipend for students who work to maintain the garden over the summer. We have hosted many visiting groups interested in starting their own school garden. The garden is now maintained by a separate club called the BLS Garden Club.
Water Bottle Filling Stations
Also as part of the Green Schools Makeover Competition in 2013, YouthCAN received 5 Elkay Water Bottle Filling Stations. These are motion-activated devices installed adjacent to traditional water fountains in high-traffic areas such as the first floor main corridor and the gymnasium that make it easier to fill water bottles, thus promoting the increased usage of reusable water bottles. Although the Latin School experienced lead problems with the drinking water in the 2016-2017 school year, forcing the shut-down of these facilities, the stations were restored in the 2017-2018 school year with the resumption of water service. Additionally, 5 new stations were added around the school, increasing accessibility to an easier way to use reusable water bottles.
Excel Hand Dryers
In the 2017-2018 school year, YouthCAN was approached by Excel Hand Dryers, Inc. with an offer to provide 10 hand dryers, free of charge, to Boston Latin School. With the advice and help of the Boston Public Schools Sustainability Manager, Katherine Walsh (a BLS alumna), YouthCAN students were able to install 8 of the dryers in the most-used bathrooms within our school, with the 2 remaining hand dryers being donated to another school in the Boston Public Schools District.
Sage Wall / Green Wall of Vegetation
The Green Wall of Vegetation is a hydroponics growing system located in the corner of our Dining Hall. It is an aesthetically pleasing feature of the school, and reduces the level of carbon dioxide in our building, thus improving air quality. For more details about the Wall, click on the file below.
Trays of Vegetation
YouthCAN students collected funds and donations from BLS families, and were able to purchase 350 trays of vegetation, which are now placed in a high-visibility location in our Music Wing. The number 350 represents the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is considered by scientists to be sustainable (350 parts per million, ppm), but as of 2017, according to NASA, the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased to 407 ppm.
The Lucid Dashboard is one of the features we added to the school with our Green School Makeover grant in 2013. The Lucid Building Dashboard allows us to track our real time energy use at BLS. We have faculty in the science and mathematics departments interested in incorporating use of the Dashboard into various classes (ie. the data collected can be accessed by a whole class with the correct logon information. The Dashboard also allows us to display information about some of the other green features in the school as well, as well as YouthCAN's latest initiatives. It has the capacity to monitor water consumption too, but it is not set up to do so at this time. We participated in the BPS Energy Challenge using our energy dashboard, organizing awareness campaigns like “power down Fridays” and oops reminders for classrooms leaving their lights on when unattended, and significantly reduced our energy use.
We have a 32-panel array of solar panels on the roof of the Boston Latin School.
YouthCAN won a Salad Bar as part of a grant from Whole Foods. In order to implement the salad bar, students met with the BLS Cafeteria Manager and the head of BPS Food and Nutrition Services and proposed a protocol for the salad bar that was accepted and implemented in five other BPS schools that also got salad bars. The salad bar has been difficult to maintain because it is labor intensive for the already overworked cafeteria staff. The salad bar was retired for a while, but in the recent past, we've met with our cafeteria manager and the headmaster and have gotten their approval to start using it again once a week. However, due to additional strains as a result of citywide budget cuts, the salad bar is currently not in regular use.