Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Green Roofs" Help Students Make The Grade

NF Note: Everyday we stumble across articles which have some thought provoking ideas for helping our environment. We wonder if this idea would work in Fayette County.

(NAPSI)-From starting school wide recycling plans to cleaning up area parks, today's students get high marks when it comes to helping the environment. Now a new program may help their grades go through the roof.

The initiative teaches students in grades 6 to 8 about green roofs--a roof that replaces traditional roofing with a living environment of plants and soil.

Among the benefits they offer, green roofs remove pollutants from storm water and reduce the amount of water that flows into sewer systems. The plants also store excess carbon from the atmosphere, lower radiant heat in the summer and create habitats for local wildlife. Additionally, green roofs provide extra insulation to buildings and last two or three times longer than traditional roofs.

The program, called The Roof Is Growing!, is run by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). It provides a lesson plan, workbook and an online interactive program designed to engage students on how green roofs cool cities, clean the air, create habitats and control storm water.

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the initiative is meant to inspire young students to think creatively and use their imaginations as future landscape architects or on any path they choose.

Of course, there are ways by which parents can get kids thinking green at home, too. Try these tips:

Make It Fun

Let your child decorate the recycling bins you have at home as you explain to her what items can and can't be recycled. You might even arrange for you and your child to tour the area recycling facility.

Take A Walk

Take your child for a walk in the woods to help him gain a greater appreciation of nature. If he has a favorite animal or habitat (deserts, jungles, etc.), encourage him to learn more at the library, at school and online.

Lead By Example

Be sure to recycle and take steps to protect the environment on your own. Setting a good example at home can help build Earth-friendly habits in kids that last a lifetime.

For more information, visit www.asla.org/greenroof.

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